Itinerary for the two weeks of participation is as follows:
We leave Monday April 13 via JFK and Aeroflot. We arrive in Moscow, (April 14, 8:30 AM) for two days retrieving balloon equipment from customs. Maybe some touring, too!
Then we would be off to Siberia, (April 16th) a town named Khatanga, where we would go through survival training for 2 to 3 days. Supposedly here wildlife and Eskimo life prevail. Maybe we'll take a sleigh ride or visit an Eskimo village.
From there we would go to Ice Camp (April 19 through the 22 or 23) which would be located near the pole. We could be here for up to one week depending on the weather window. Housing is in the form of double sided tents heated by generators. The heating system creates a mini weather lesson where it is 30 degrees on the floor to 5' up and from there to the ceiling it's 85 degrees which creates thunder storms, or lots of condensation in the middle!
During this time a French ski team will overnight with us. Scuba diving for the first time will be occurring more than likely in any weather, skydiving will occur one day.
For the balloonists the best scenario would be several flights on several days the worst would be one flight on the best day. Flight lengths would vary according to the weather window from a half-hour to five hours or more as fuel consumption would not be an issue. Balloons will be retrieved by helicopter.
Dangers are in equipment and human failure due to the cold, retrieval and hard landings due to white out conditions and no reference points, landing in water (the pole is made up of moving ice, it is not a land mass) not to mention high wind inflation's on ice! We think we've done our homework and have the solutions to most dangers.
From the pole we will return to Moscow (April 24) and an awards dinner ceremony.