One Man Epic Mission North Pole
From 15.03.2010 to 10.06.2010 - Status: abandoned
The Australian Tom Smitheringale is attempting to complete the route between McClintock Island and the North Pole, solo and without outside assistance (such as using traction kites).
In the presentation for his expedition, Smitheringale points out that the great Reinhold Messner has stated that reaching the North Pole via this route is a challenge twice as difficult to achieve as conquering Everest, and that it has only been done before by two men in the history of polar exploration.
He also stresses that there is a humanitarian aspect to his venture: to help the Burnet Institute, a well-known Australian institution that specialises in treating three serious diseases: AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, three life-threatening ailments that are doing enormous harm among populations in Africa. The Burnet Institute (also known as the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Public Health) is Australia's largest research establishment for contagious diseases. Founded in Melbourne in 1986, it is named after the Australian winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, Frank Macfarlane Burnet.
It was while working for five years in the British army in Africa that Tom became aware of the ravages caused by these three diseases among local Africans. Back then he vowed that one day he would find a way of helping them and one of his reasons for setting out to reach the North Pole now is to support this cause and raise awareness for it all over the world.