Following Colin O’Brady’s claim to have completed the first unsupported and unassisted crossing of Antarctica, the polar adventure world came together to point out the inaccuracies of the 33-year old American’s highly publicised and inaccurate claims. They then set about to develop a standard of definitions relating to polar travel.
Ash Routen, Explorersweb »
So in the wake of the O’Brady saga, veteran polar guide Eric Philips, along with other senior members of the polar community, decided that standardization was overdue in the polar world. Over the past two years, they developed The Polar Expeditions Classification Scheme (PECS), which was launched earlier this week.
Updated June 1, 2019 to add link to his latest video.
In May 2014, Iohan Gueorguiev (website – YouTube – Twitter – Instagram) started cycling from the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The plan was to cycle to the tip of South America in a year, maybe a few more months.
Jon Golden, as told to Nina Strochlic, National Geographic:
T MINUS SIX MONTHS
Gearing up: I’ll be photographing a team of extreme adventurers mountain biking across the frozen Arctic Ocean in Canada. I’ll be on a snowmobile, which is still hard work, so I need to get in good shape. A few months before, I start running and doing core workouts. In the Arctic you can’t sit down if you’re tired—you have to keep moving or get in your sleeping bag. I also put in a request to my sponsors for some gear: a down-filled sleeping mat and gloves I can shoot with.
T MINUS TWO WEEKS
Essential packing list: Our camp in Auyuittuq is 50 miles from civilization in any direction, so I take everything I need for the 2.5-day February trip.
– Emergency beacon
– A satellite phone (which will be on for only two hours a day, so I go over safety protocols with my family beforehand)
– Macadamia nuts (they have the highest fat content)
– A toothbrush with pre-applied toothpaste
– A dozen camera batteries. The cold zaps their power, so I keep them in my vest or sleeping bag.
– Two sets of long underwear
Camp 4 Collective:
As much we admire the explorers traveling to the ends of the Earth on large scale Expeditons it’s the everyday man (or women) exploring their own backyard that often inspire the most. Guys like Chris Dahl-Bredine, who built an experimental aircraft in his garage in order to bring a new perspective to his life & creative vision. There isn’t much glamour in this type of exploration. No sponsors footing the bill. Just hard work, cold mornings & sometimes a bit of duct tape. Part cowboy, part photographer, part mechanic, Chris’ work blends a blue collar work ethic with a special eye for landscapes and the interconnectedness of it all.
Erik Trinidad, Adventure.com:
The North Pole has long fascinated adventurers, each one eager to set new records. But being first is no longer the holy grail of Arctic exploration. Polar explorer Eric Larsen shares what expeditions are like now—when the finish line is melting.
“It’s not about being first,” polar explorer Eric Larsen tells me, before we embark on a overnight winter camping trip with a group of other cold-weather loving adventurers. “It’s about being last, and seeing these places before they’re forever changed.”
Jimmy Thomson, CBC News:
To this day, there is no record of anyone reaching the North Pole under their own power, without resupply, in winter.
English explorers Alex Hibbert, George Bullard, and James Wheeldon want to meet the challenge, and have been preparing for the journey in the Yellowknife area. They’re hoping to set out for the North Pole this fall.
All are veteran explorers — Hibbert and Bullard set a world record for the longest unsupported traverse of Greenland in 2008, while Wheeldon and Hibbert spent a winter together in northern Greenland. But they have never worked together as a trio.
Follow and George Bullard on Twitter.
Ada Blackjack was barely five feet tall and 100 pounds and lacked any wilderness skills. Left alone in the arctic, she survived by teaching herself to hunt and trap, pick roots, haul wood, make her own clothing, and avoid hungry polar bears.
Kate Siber, writing in Outside Magazine:
Except for the polar bears, a corpse, and a small house cat named Vic, Ada Blackjack found herself alone on Wrangel Island in late June 1923. Nearly two years had passed since a schooner dropped her off with four young white explorers who intended to claim the Arctic isle for the British.
Blackjack, a petite 23-year-old Inupiaq woman, had come along as a seamstress. Her job was to sew foul-weather clothing out of animal hides so the men could survive the northern winters. The team was planning to live off six months’ worth of supplies and local game before being relieved a year later with a new crew. But when a ship didn’t show up as promised in the summer of 1922, the expedition turned desperate. Three men went for help by dogsled over the ocean ice, some 100 miles south to Siberia, leaving Blackjack on her own to care for the remaining expedition member, Lorne Knight, who was bedridden with scurvy.
The 1902 footage shows disorganized and somewhat unruly crew on the failed William Ziegler expedition to the arctic. It was the first time National Geographic did a field documentary. The 42-man team were attempting to be the first to reach the North Pole.