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From 21.03.2010 to 10.06.2010 - Status: success

Ward Hunt - North Pole, unusupported and unassisted

Ward Hunt - North Pole, unusupported and unassisted

© International Polar Foundation

Amelia Russell (27) and Dan Darley (33) are two young elite athletes with a passion for rowing and outdoor sports (skiing and cycling). They are attempting the trek from Cape Discovery (83° 01' N / 74° 25' W, their departure point) to the North Pole, without outside assistance.

We have to delve deep into the history of Britain to understand fully the deep-seated reasons behind Russell's and Darley's venture. Right back to the conquest of the South Pole, in particular, or to the expedition mounted in 1829 by John Ross to find the elusive and legendary Northwest Passage. Or to the exploits of Ross's nephew, James Ross, who discovered the Magnetic North Pole. Not to mention all those other brave souls -and heaven knows there are plenty of them -who devoted their lives to the great polar discoveries (Sir Ernest Shackleton, among others) and who have left their mark forever on polar exploration through their courage, endurance to hardship, tenacity and desire to succeed whatever obstacles were put in their way.

Added to this boundless thirst for history and the lives of the great explorers is the fact that Dan and Amelia provide whatever assistance they can for the Help For Heroes association, which supports the families of British military service personnel who are still being called on all too often to pay the ultimate price of sacrificing their lives in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

Dan and Amelia are both top sports athletes who are still involved actively in rowing, skiing and triathlons (Dan has already participated in the Ironman event in Hawaii on six occasions, finishing 440th out of 1700 entrants); Amelia is a qualified doctor and has worked as a medico for two years. She has also attended a special polar medicine course in Norway, which will of course help her on her Arctic adventure this spring 2010.

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