Polar Race 2005

For further information contact:

  Polar Adventures Ltd
  18 Neville Road
  KT1 3QX

Tel: +44 (0)20 8549 1457
Fax: +44 (0)20 8241 7914
Eml: info@polarrace.com

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Polar Race - Frequently Asked Questions

Question - Are Polar bears scared by anything?

Answer - No, You are intruding into their environment so be careful - you are simply a food source to them.

Question - How cold will it be for the racers?

Answer - Temperatures can easily each -40°C. Your household deep freeze reaches about -15°C.

Question - Will any animals be encountered?

Answer - Yes; Muskox look like old American bison, seals, wolves, the odd bird and, of course, polar bears.

Question - How do you go to the toilet?

Answer - Quickly!

Question - Do Iridium Mobile Phones work all the way to the Magnetic North Pole?

Answer - Yes the Iridium Satellite Phone System is the only one that works all over the world. It consists of 66 low orbit satellites.

Question - Will pictures be sent pictures back to the UK?

Answer - Yes, both photographs and movie clips! Have a look at the News, Photo Gallery and Movie Theatre pages of the website.

Question - Will the batteries survive in the extreme cold?

Answer - Batteries will need to be kept warm and thus will be carried inside clothing. Lithium Ion batteries will are the best for cold conditions.

Question - What is the terrain like?

Answer - It varies from totally flat sea ice, to huge boulders which have to be scrambled over. Most of the time, however, it's just like the picture at the top of this page.

Question - Will GPS be used for navigation?

Answer - Yes GPS (Global Positioning System) will be used by the teams to confirm their position. This will be backed up by dead reckoning on charts.

Question - How far from the UK is the Magnetic North Pole?

Answer - On a recent training weekend, the GPS familiarisation exercise involved finding out the distance. It is 2914 statute miles from Corsham (Near Chippenham, Wilts.) to the North Magnetic Pole.

Question - What is the time at the Pole?

Answer - The North Magnetic Pole is in the American Central Time zone, which is 6 hours less than GMT. The race takes place during the daylight saving time period, so during the race it is actually 7 hours less than GMT (or 6 less than BST, as the UK observes summer time too).

But a scientist may give you a different answer...

To calculate the current time at a given location:

  • Find out the longitude of the location.
  • At each degree longitude west, the time is 4 minutes less than than GMT.
  • Or, at each degree longitude east, the time is 4 minutes more than than GMT.

For the North Magnetic Pole, at N 78°35.7' W 104°11.9':

  • The longitude is 104°11.9' west, which is the same as 104.2° west.
  • Therefore its time is 104.2 x 4 minutes less than than GMT.
  • 104.2 x 4 = 416.79 minutes = 6 hours 57 minutes
  • So the time at the North Magenetic Pole is 6 hours 57 minutes less than GMT.

So, at 12:00 at the North Magnetic Pole, it's 18:57 in London.
Or, at 12:00 in London it's 05:03 at the North Magnetic Pole!

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