From Barents to the North Pole

One of the tasks that awaits the people that left for Barneo today is to prepare a runway, making it possible for An-74 aircraft to land. (Photo from

The first transport plane with cargo to Russia’s North Pole base Barneo left from Murmashi airport outside Murmansk early this morning.


Flying time to the planned location of the station is approximately eight hours. Cargo and members of the polar expedition will then be dropped out in parachutes and establishment of this year’s base can start.

Barneo is established every year at 89°N, approximately 110 kilometers from the North Pole. The ice base is sponsored by the Russian Geographical Society. Depending on the base’s location (it drifts with a speed of 0.8 km/h), excursions to the actual North Pole can be conducted on skis, by dog sled, or by helicopter.

A total of 50 tons of equipment including two tractors, fuel and generators as well as 20 persons will be dropped over the base during three flights, Northern Fleet press spokesperson Yevgeniy Kirillov says to RIA Novosti.

“The cargo will be dropped in parachutes from low altitude. The pilot changes elevation angle (the nose of the airplane is lifted sharply up a few seconds before the drop) and the cargo falls out by gravity”, Kirillov explains. “Personnel from the Russian Air Force are the only ones that have experience in conducting such operations in ultra-high Arctic latitudes”, he adds.

The ice camp is planned to open by April. One of the big events to take place on this remote base during the season of 2013 is a meeting of the ambassadors of the Arctic Council writes.

In 2012 the Norwegian polar explorer Børge Ousland married on Barneo.

The annual North Pole Marathon will be arranged on April 9. For a fee of €11,900 you will be provided with not only the opportunity to run 42.195km in one of the remotest parts of the planet, but also return flights from Svalbard to the North Pole camp, accommodation while at the Pole and the opportunity to stand at the exact Geographic North Pole. Registration here.