Catlin Arctic Survey 2009

A pioneering scientific expedition to help determine the life span of the Arctic Ocean sea ice cover.

On 27 February 2009, Martin was dropped onto the Arctic Ocean at 81°30'00" N, 130°00'00" W along with polar explorers Pen Hadow and Ann Daniels, to measure and document the state of the sea ice cover along their route towards the North Pole.  With the sea ice melting rapidly as Summer approached, the decision was made to airlift the team off the Arctic Ocean at 85°35'36" N, 124°59'47" W on 13 May 2009, after 73 days on the ice.

More Polar portfolios

  • Drilling Tests on Little Cornwallis Island

  • Catlin Arctic Survey 2009

    (05:49)

    Catlin Arctic Survey 2009

    Pen Hadow, Professor Peter Wadhams and Stephen Catlin comment on the 2009 expedition, its aims and its findings - with footage from various news features

  • Winter Training on the sea ice around Broughton Island

    (01:46)

    Winter Training on the sea ice around Broughton Island

    Martin, Pen Hadow and Ann Daniels test equipment for the Catlin Arctic Survey 2009 expedition in the Canadian High Arctic during the dark Winter.

  • Getting Dressed in Frozen Clothes

    (03:02)

    Getting Dressed in Frozen Clothes

    Managing sweat is a serious business when living in an environment that is five times colder than your average freezer. Martin struggles to put on his jacket that has frozen solid and squeeze his frostbitten toes into frozen boots.

  • Drilling Tests on Little Cornwallis Island

    (04:18)

    Drilling Tests on Little Cornwallis Island

    Martin and Pen Hadow test the drilling and science equipment for the Catlin Arctic Survey 2009 with help from some of the local Inuit.

  • Getting Ready to Sleep in the Arctic

    (03:49)

    Getting Ready to Sleep in the Arctic

    Frozen sweat turns Martin's down sleeping bag into a solid bag of ice crystals as crunchy as a crisp packet. By morning, the ice had melted so Martin was lying in a bag of water.

BBC articles and video clips
Arctic Diary - Explorers' ice quest
- 14 May 2009
Emergency Rations in the Arctic
- 7 May 2009
Day in the life of Arctic explorer - 4 May 2009
How to prepare an Arctic runway - 30 Apr 2009
The 6,000-calorie Arctic diet
- 30 Apr 2009
Getting ready to sleep in the Arctic
- 24 Apr 2009 
Trying to cook in the Arctic - 26 Mar 2009
Concern as ice cracks around camp
- 24 Mar 2009
How to measure Arctic sea ice - 5 Mar 2009
Polar trio due to set off
- 1 Mar 2009
Final thoughts before journey begins - 26 Feb 2009

Time Magazine Heroes of the Environment 2009

The Telegraph
Pen Hadow: Snow Patrol
and video - 9 Jan 2009

The Guardian
articles, video clips and environment blog
In Pictures
- Catlin Arctic Survey comes to an end
In Pictures - Arctic trek to reveal true extent of melting icecaps

Sky News
North Pole Ice set to melt by Summer 2020 - 15 Oct 2009

Al Jazeera
Sir David Frost interviews polar explorers - 24 May 2009
Pen Hadow talks about Arctic expedition - 13 May 2009

The Independent
Replenished ice team head north again - 20 Mar 2009

WWF/CAS2009 send off - Feb 2009

 

  • TVM from Pen Hadow

TVM from Pen Hadow TVM from Pen Hadow

Pen admits Martin's skill at measuring distance - Martin, the human metronome

TVM from Pen Hadow TVM from Pen Hadow

Pen leaves a message from the 'operating theatre' on the Arctic Ocean, describing the state of Martin's frostbitten toes

TVM from Martin, Day 58 TVM from Martin, Day 58

Martin describes the food rationing situation

TVM from Martin, April 2009 TVM from Martin, April 2009

Martin explains how the messages of support people have left for him really help

TVM from Martin, 5 May 2009 TVM from Martin, 5 May 2009

After a 10-day resupply delay, Martin describes how satisfied the team feels for managing to deliver the science data and images back from the ice rather than opt for an earlier food-drop

TVM from Martin, 21 March 2009 TVM from Martin, 21 March 2009

Martin leaves a voice message from the tent on the Arctic Ocean

TVM from Martin, 15 March 2009 TVM from Martin, 15 March 2009

Martin leaves a voice message via satellite phone from the Arctic Ocean

TVM from Pen Hadow, Day 71 TVM from Pen Hadow, Day 71

Pen describes the snow and light conditions as they progressed across ice pans