A team of international explorers who reached the top of the world Sunday after a two-month journey on foot remained huddled at the North Pole Monday awaiting an evacuation aircraft.
Because of poor weather a Twin-Otter aircraft coming from Eureka on Ellesmere Island, 620 miles from the pole, had to delay the pickup, Icewalk expedition spokesman Tracy Carpenter said here.The team, led by British adventurer Robert Swan, planted a United Nations flag at the pole at 0838 GMT (2:38 a.m. MST) Sunday, he said.
The eight-man team battled frigid cold, frostbite, flu and extremely rough ice in the journey that began from the northernmost tip of Canada on Ellesmere Island March 20.
Sometimes following the footsteps of polar bears and traversing 30-foot-high ice ridges, the group traveled on skis and carried backpacks of up to 150 pounds.
The expedition, which cost some $3 million and was launched to draw attention to global pollution, includes two explorers from Britain and one each from the United States, the Soviet Union, Canada, Australia, West Germany and Japan.
Organizers said Darryl Roberts, 23, who is black, is the first American and the youngest person to walk to the North Pole.