From the North Pole to the South Pole…
From 06.04.2009 to 25.07.2009 - Status: ongoing
French adventurer Charles Hedrich (51) is to attempt to travel from the North Pole to the South Pole, taking less than a year in the process. His route will take him through Europe, West Africa and South America.
When it comes to challenges, Charles Hedrich likes to think big. Last year, for the first time in his extreme sports career, he attempted to break a speed record in the Antarctic, travelling solo and without being resupplied. When he first set out, he thought that this trek would be a piece of cake for him. But three weeks after departing, he had to abandon his quest, suffering from a urinary tract infection...
This year, his project is even more daring: he aims to travel from the North Pole to the South Pole using nothing but renewable forms of energy to get him there.
His planned itinerary and timetable have him arriving at the South Pole in January 2010, leaving the North Pole in April 2009 and reaching the Greenland coast about fifty days later. He will then cross Greenland by pulka, kayak and kite-ski, which will take him until mid-June. From Greenland, he plans to sail to Denmark on a voyage taking about two weeks, arriving at the end of June. From Denmark he'll start pedalling to the Alps by bicycle (via Germany, the Benelux, Switzerland and Italy), arriving on 10th July. He'll then cross the Alps on skis, with a number of north face of Mont Blanc-style descents, plus some canoeing and hand-gliding. From the Alps, he'll head for Gibraltar, travelling through France and Spain by mountain bike, horse, donkey and on foot. He is scheduled to arrive in Gibraltar by 20th August. Next, he plans to swim, row or kite surf from Gibraltar to Tangiers, taking 48 hours to make the crossing.
For the 3-week leg from Tangiers to Dakar, he'll use a sand yacht, ride a camel, run and mountain bike along the way. From Dakar, he'll be sailing to Recife (Brazil), planning to arrive in South America by 25th September. Once there, instead of travelling over land, he will sail down to Ushuaia, with a scheduled arrival date of 20th October. The crossing from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula will also be by sailing boat, on a voyage of two weeks. At the beginning of November, he will set out on the final stage of his adventure, trekking from Marguerite Bay to the South Pole, propelled by kite-ski. After that, he'll continue towards McMurdo, still using a kite-ski, aiming specifically for Whale Bay. From there, Hedrich will take a boat to New Zealand, with his journey ending on or around 10th March.