North 3

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From 22.02.2011 - Status: postponed

Saunders tries a record once more

Saunders tries a record once more

© Saunders / IPF

For the third time, Ben Saunders tries to set a new world speed record from Ward Hunt Island to the Geographic North Pole.

For the third time, Ben Saunders goes to North Pole to break a record. 2008: after 8 days on the ice and at a position of N.83.57.686 W. 074.12.566 Ben Saunders' expedition to become the fastest man to walk solo and unsupported to the North Pole is over following the critical failure of his ski equipment. 2010 : a catastrophic start for the expedition of the Britisher who has set out on the pack ice in an attempt to break the speed record. On the second day of his trek to the Pole, a jerrycan of fuel broke in his sledge and contaminated 80% of his victuals. What was to be done?

2011 : Ben wants to set a new world speed record from Ward Hunt Island to the Geographic North Pole. The current record was set in 2005 by a guided team using dog sleds and numerous re-supplies in a time of 36 days 22 hours. Ben’s expedition will be solo and unsupported and on foot. This route has only ever been completed once solo and unsupported, by Pen Hadow in 2003. Ben aims to halve his time and complete it in 30 days.

Ben will be skiing over the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean, one of the harshest environments on the planet. There are no route maps as the pack ice is in a constant state of flux, melting and refreezing with the changing seasons, and drifting according to the competing forces of wind, current and tide. One of the biggest obstacles Ben expects to encounter are areas of open water; giant cracks in the ice known as leads.

Ben Saunders is a record-breaking long-distance skier, with three North Pole expeditions under his belt. He is the youngest to ski solo to the North Pole and holds the record for the longest solo Arctic journey by a Briton. Since 2001, Ben has skied more than 2,500km (1,500 miles) in the high Arctic, which he recently worked out equates to two percent of his entire life living in a tent.

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