Linden skis to North Pole

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Salvationist and world traveler Henry Linden, 73, recently returned from a trip to the North Pole, where he raised The Salvation Army’s flag—the first Salvationist to do so.

According to Linden, who has visited 75 percent of all the countries in the world, standing at the North Pole “gives you a real sensation, knowing you are standing on the very top of the world.”

It took a bit of doing to get there.

After flying from Los Angeles to Oslo, Norway, he continued to Longyearbyen, a city of 2,600, located 800 miles north of the Arctic Circle. From there, he joined a group of six, including a guide and expedition leader, all of whom were half his age.

The next stage of his journey started with a two-hour flight on a Russian Antonov 74 jet to Borneo, a Russian camp located 70 miles from the North Pole on the arctic icecap. From there, the group took a 30 minute helicopter ride that brought them closer to the Pole.

That’s when the real work began.

“After the helicopter landed and our supplies were unloaded, our first task was to melt some snow to fill our thermoses with warm water prior to skiing our last leg of our journey to the Pole,” recalls Linden. They then strapped on cross country skis and, towing individual tents, sleeping bag, mattresses, food and other items, made the final 90 miles in nine hours. During the three days he was at the Pole, they skied and surveyed the area.

Swedish-born Linden’s parents were Salvation Army officers; he and his wife, Siv, attend the Torrance Corps, Calif.

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