Imagine going to a place that’s utterly remote, barren, and cold, and it’s a spot that’s, erm, not always there. That’s exactly where Rozz went to locate 90° north.
We asked her to share her experience with us, just so we could take a leaf out of her YOLO book.
Why the North Pole?
“I chose it because I’d like to be at the top of the world where every step I take is south… And where I could literally go around the world in five seconds. I’ve only got one shot at life and this is how I want to live it.”
“Many thought I was crazy to pay US$21,000 for a three-day expedition to spend only one hour at the North Pole. I’ll admit it was a painful decision that I took months to be okay with, simply because I’m not rolling in cash.”
“there comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. so you’d better learn the sound of it. otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” . my heart brought me here. just flew 2.5hrs in an ancient russian AN-74 aircraft from longyearbyen and landed on a seasonal air strip constructed on the polar ice cap each year. i have finally arrived at the @barneoicecamp, a basecamp located 89° north on an ice floe (a large floating patch of ice approx 3km x 3km in size and 180m thick) over the frozen arctic ocean. . established each year to be a functioning russian science and logistics station, @barneoicecamp is operated by the Expeditionary Center for the Russian Geographical Society. only 200 people get to stay here each year, and amongst them are scientists, pilots, mechanics, engineers, and explorers like me. . ill be spending the night here and then journey the final degree to 90° north by helicopter. i am BEYOND stoked. . travelling the world and surviving unforgiving arctic weather conditions with my @tagheuer steve mcqueen monaco.✌ . #rozzin89degreesnorth #barneoicecamp #rozzxtagheuer #dontcrackunderpressure #tagheuerisheritage #tagheuermonaco #sp .
“There is nothing to see out there in the North Pole. It’s a barren landscape of snow and ice, but there’s something quite special about being at the top of the world. We camped overnight at the Barneo Ice Camp, a basecamp operated by the Russians for all North Pole expeditioners, climate scientists and researchers, it was pretty special.
“There is no land mass at the polar ice cap so our camp was literally sitting on an ice floe that’s 180m thick with a surface area of 3km x 3km. From the time we landed at Barneo, to the time we left 24 hours later, our ice floe had drifted 4km from its original spot. It’s pretty daunting to know that this sheet of ice is what keeps us safe from the 4000m-deep Arctic Ocean.”
“I was told that the expedition team the year before managed 89° north because of where they had to land, due to bad weather, and the year before that 90° north was located over a body of water! So we were extremely fortunate this year!
What did you learn?
I don’t know if I can ever go back to mundane city living, after having had a taste of the extremes this world has to offer, but if or when I become broke, I’ll look back on all my photos and videos, and smile.
Being surrounded by nothing but barren stretches of ice and snow, with nothing much else but my own thoughts, I hadn’t expected to feel so overcome with strange emotions that were so difficult to process and express. Perhaps my real journey wasn’t making the trip to the North Pole but rather an inward one, a personal journey. That when one is surrounded by an unchanging and bland physical environment, the focus will invariably shift to self: every decision made, however reckless, every thought and emotion that led me to that moment at the Arctic, it was simply about being present, that was my true journey, that was what being in the Arctic drew out of me. It made a lot of sense and definitely shed some light on what I’m feeling now but that’s just the tip of iceberg (no pun intended).
“How can one prepare? You don’t. You decide you wanna do it, and just go for it. We will never find the courage to say “screw it” and go, simply because fear is innate and is what protects us from harm. So you’ll just need to bite the bullet and just go.”
“After going there I realised the mad logistics and expertise required to transport people to the North Pole. A single plane ride already costs US$100K. I’m convinced that in order to explore extreme locations, I’d have to commit a little more; it’s not for everyone that’s for sure. Only 200 people make it to the North Pole every year. [When one is there]… we all experience things differently. Just be open, have zero expectations, and just surrender. That’s the best way to absorb whatever it is you immerse yourself into.”