Polar explorer Eric Larsen has announced plans for his next major expedition and it could be the most difficult of his illustrious career. Larsen, who is a Wenger ambassador, will team up with fellow explorer Ryan Waters, to attempt a ski expedition to the North Pole – something that has become increasingly more difficult in recent years and soon could be completely impossible.
Both Larsen and Waters have impressive resumes with plenty of previous adventures to their names. Eric has already visited both the North and South Pole on two separate occasions in the past, while Ryan has skied solo and unsupported across Antarctica via the South Pole too. Both men have also summited Everest and have a variety of other excursions to remote places under their belts.
All of that experience in the frozen regions of our planet will certainly come in handy next year as the duo intend to make a journey that will begin at Ellesmere Island in Canada and culminating at the North Pole. That’s a distance of more than 500 miles through one of the toughest, harshest environment on the planet. One that becomes increasingly more difficult with each passing year.
In year’s past it was somewhat common for a few people to successfully complete a full-distance North Pole expedition each year, despite the challenges that are associated with such a journey. Over the past two seasons however, not a single person has been able to make that journey. Climate change has begun to alter the Arctic in very real and measurable ways, and what was once an unbroken surface of thick ice from northern Canada to 90°N, is now fractured, with large areas of open water that must be traversed or skied around. Massive ice blocks now create impassable walls where giant slabs of ice smash into one another as they break apart and are pushed along by the ocean currents. Add in weather that seems to be getting increasingly hostile and you have a set of obstacles that are conspiring with one another to make it very difficult for anyone to make much progress in the Arctic.
Despite those challenges, Eric and Ryan will give it a go next February. At the moment, they are training hard and preparing for the challenges ahead. Come early next year, they’ll set out to challenge the Arctic. We’ll be sure to post updates when they get underway.