National Geographic : 1965 Feb
On my take-off for home from Point Bar row, Max made me an offer I was to recall long afterward: "You'll have a rugged trip-but it should be a good one. Let us know if we can help." As the starting time for the expedition, I chose early March of 1964. Two factors dic tated the choice: In deep winter, the polar pack is at its most solid and traversable state. As spring with its storms and higher tempera tures creeps northward, open leads in the ice increase-and the dangers of surface travel increase with them. But spring also brings the gift of sunlight and an end to the long polar night. We hoped to profit from solid ice with- out sacrificing the advantage of daylight. The National Geographic Society offered us a generous grant, as did Aftenposten of Oslo, Norway's leading newspaper, and Ex pressen, the Swedish daily in Stockholm. Although our purpose was largely one of adventure, we had a number of scientific objectives. Research organizations in Nor way and the United States asked us to ob serve such polar conditions as ice formations, temperatures, problems of communication, and the effects of those conditions on our bodies, minds, and performance. As March approached, we made final plans. Equipment amounted to thousands of items, 261 S RY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHERJOSEPH J. SCHERSCHEL() N.G.S.