Isn’t it dangerous to cross a frozen ocean?

Our expedition is to set out across an ocean covered with ice. It is the Arctic Ocean and it is true that the thickness of the ice has its limits. But then again, we are quite light. We have a sledge that weighs about 130 kilos, and we also have skis that spread the weight of our body across the ice. This means that we can make our way across the ice even when sometimes it is very, very thin.

We can travel on ice that is anything from 7-8 cm thick, which corresponds to the ice thickness that forms in less than one night when the temperature is minus 40, or in several days when it's much warmer. It's quite scary sometimes, because new ice that forms from salt water is like a sort of rubbery brine. In fact, it's rather like walking on rubber because it moves about and it's a little like you're dancing as you move, making it very, very scary.

This means that there are lots of different types of ice surfaces on which we must progress. We sometimes find ourselves on little ice floes that move around, you then have to find your right balance point so that the ice floe doesn't tip over. All the same, you sometimes have to use these little ice islands, when necessary, in order to keep on going.

Nevertheless, out there in the Arctic, it can be exciting to be supported by the ice because there are a thousand and one different ways of advancing and to make progress day after day. You get further and further until, finally, you have achieved a crossing of several thousand kilometres.


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