The laptop that conquered the North Pole

    In their expedition to the North Pole, travelers Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin, using a Toughbook protected laptop, set a new world Arctic record. For the first time in the world, two daredevils managed to ski from the ground to the North Pole in the darkness of the polar night.

    One hundred years ago, in April 1908, people first reached the North Pole on ice. This was done by dog ​​sledding Americans. Modern technologies and a level of knowledge about the nature of high latitudes have made it possible to set a fundamentally new record - to conquer the North Pole on skis on a polar night, which is characterized by darkness and low temperatures.
    Matvey Shparo (33 years old, Moscow) and Boris Smolin (46 years old, Kaluga Region) are widely known as organizers and participants of successful national Arctic expeditions with the participation of disabled athletes: skiing through Greenland (2000) and climbing Mount McKinley (2004), Alaska.

    Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin

    In 2007, they planned to do something that no one else had done before - skiing to the North Pole in the darkness of the polar night. Such a transition is associated with numerous difficulties: low visibility due to darkness, strong arctic wind and low temperatures, as well as the danger of meeting polar bears. The journey began on December 22 from Cape Arctic (Northern Land archipelago).

    The main difficulty and danger during the transition was hidden by unpredictable drifting ice. Travelers needed to exercise special caution when overcoming piles of hummocks, thin ice and streaks. Often, the ice drift was oncoming and threw the expedition members back.

    Matvey Shparo establishes an Internet connection

    To solve the problem of finding a quick and safe route, Matvey and Boris used a Panasonic secure laptop. Connecting by satellite phone, they uploaded satellite images of ice. Thanks to the GPS module integrated in the laptop, travelers accurately determined their location on the map. Using the data on ice migration and checking their location using GPS, they laid a further route.

    Boris Smolin

    Travelers reached the top of the planet on the 84th day of the journey on March 14, 2008 at 19 o’clock. 40 min Moscow time, a week before the polar day, skiing more than a thousand kilometers on the drifting ice of the Arctic Ocean.

    Rex Pemberton

    Recall that in 2005, the previous Panasonic TOUGHBOOK CF-18 rugged notebook model visited the expedition of the Australian traveler Rex Pemberton. May 31, 2005 Rex Pemberton reached the top of Mount Everest. Together with him, the TOUGHBOOK laptop also experienced all the difficulties of climbing. The laptop has withstood numerous temperature differences ranging from -30 to + 40ºС, shock and vibration during transportation, as well as exposure to snow and dust. Connecting using a satellite phone, Rex worked with e-mail and even made entries on his blog in the base camp at an altitude of 5350 m, as well as in a camp at an altitude of 7150 m. The traveler appreciated the reliability and long battery life of the TOUGHBOOK laptop.

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