On 21 March, a press conference was held to present the high-latitude Arctic expedition Barneo 2011; the two venues, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, were linked by a multimedia “video bridge”.
This year Barneo 2011 is sponsored by the Russian Geographical Society. Since 2002, the Barneo ice camp ensures Russian presence in the North Pole region. The base is maintained by Polius Expeditionary Centre of the Russian Association of Polar Explorers.
The press conference participants in Moscow included Artur Chilingarov, Russian President’s special representative for international cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctica and the First Vice-President of the Russian Geographical Society; Alexander Orlov, Head of Barneo 2011 expedition and Vice-President of the Russian Association of Polar Explorers; and Dmitri Shparo, leader of “Skiing to the North Pole!” youth expedition.
In St. Petersburg the press conference was attended by Victor Boyarsky, Director of the Arctic and Antarctic Museum; Vladimir Strugatsky, Vice-President of the Russian Association of Polar Explorers; and Viacheslav Makeyev, Head of Nature Management Department at the State Polar Academy.
Currently the expedition is getting ready for the logistics stage. Building on the Soviet polar explorers’ experience and using their own innovative approaches and designs, Polius Expeditionary Centre plans to set up the Barneo ice camp in the early April. Barneo base will work for a month, performing various operations. In 2011 the camp expects to receive more than 300 tourists who’ll have a chance to reach the North Pole.
Two research teams will be working at the station. Members of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute will work according to their research programmes on a drifting ice floe. The PanArctic Ice Camp Expedition (PAICEX) of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Science will carry on for the fifth year running. And for the fourth year in a row, youth skiing expedition will go to the North Pole, led by Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin.
Photographs by Yaroslav Nikitin and Darya Shlykova