Twenty Five years with the North Pole!
In two months and a half there would be
a festive salute. Ten shorts from a carabine in honour of:
– Dmitry Shparo, leader of the expedition,
Yuri Khmelevski and Vladimir Ledenev, Anatoly
Melnikov and Vladimir Rakhmanov, Vasily Shishkarev
and Vladimir Davydov! In honour of their VICTORY!!!
But let us return back. On March 16, 1979
the seven participants of the expedition of the Komsomolskaia
Pravda came down a steep slope of the small Henrietta Island
to the broken ice of the East-Siberian Sea and made the first
steps towards the North Pole. Almost one thousand and five
hundred kilometres separated the start from the finish. One
and a half million steps over the rippled ice, over the pressure
ridges and fissures of open water.
On May 31, 1979 these seven men hugged one
another at the top of the Earth. They were striving for their
triumph for no less than 10 years. After return to the land
these seven explorers were decorated with the highest State
orders of the USSR, the Prizewinners, and their achievement
was registered in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Many people had visited the North Pole before
them. But this team for the first time in history reached
the North Pole on foot, by ski and not by an airplane, dog
sleds or snow mobiles. Every day efforts in the course of
the ten years of preparation of this expedition were concentrated
in seventy-seven days of their route.
The last spring day became the hour of triumph for every one
of these seven men and it stillhas remained the same for the
last twenty five years.
After the North Pole they were dreaming
about the South Pole. But they did not manage to visit the
Antarctica. There followed two remarkable achievements in
our Hemisphere. In 1986 there was a ski crossing during the
polar night from one drifting scientific polar station to
another via the Pole of Inaccessibility. And in two years
they again visited their North Pole. A joint Soviet-Canadian
team crossed on skis the Arctic Ocean from the shores of the
USSR to the Canadian Ward Hunt Island.
The public high latitude expedition of the
Komsomolskaia Pravda newspaper stopped its existence in 1989
and our Adventure Club was founded in its place.
The photographs from the archives of Dmitry