Wood’s expedition to the NP cancelled ?

Published on 03.03.2012 - North South Solo Expedition -Leg 2

Financial concerns mays force Wood to abandon the second leg of his solo project

Financial concerns mays force Wood to abandon the second leg of his solo project

© Expedition website

The information is not confirmed yet, but Marc Wood's expedition to the NP appears to be in jeopardy due to financial concerns.

After having travelled solo to the South Pole with success, British adventurer Marc Wood wanted to reach NP the same season. He would have then become the first person to ski to both poles consecutively.

But in light of the increasingly fragile nature of the sea ice in the Arctic, airlines in the region are asking for larger bonds to be paid upfront before an explorer goes out on the ice in case he or she needs to be picked up from the ice. 

Before he can proceed, Mark must find a corporate backer to guarantee the costs of the bonds the airlines are asking for in the unlikely event that Mark will need to be picked up from the ice.

Here are some excerpts from the press communiqué :

" 29 February 2012- British explorer’s North Pole record attempt may be halted unless backer is found for safety bond. British explorer Mark Wood, who last month completed a successful solo expedition to the South Pole, may be forced to abandon his world-first polar attempt due to the large bonds required to guarantee his safety on the ice.

An ex fire-fighter and soldier from Coventry, Mark is attempting to become the first person in history to solo ski both poles in the same season.  The expedition is the culmination of three years preparation and has been described by legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes as “the toughest journey on the planet”.

But shortening Arctic seasons and thinning, fragile ice have made polar expeditions increasingly dangerous in recent years. Now the region’s airlines are demanding increasingly large, upfront bonds in case they need to retrieve explorers from the ice.

Unless a corporate backer can be found to guarantee the airlines costs in the unlikely case that Mark needs to be picked up from the ice, the entire expedition may be cancelled.

“ I knew this expedition would be my toughest yet and operating in such a difficult climate there was always a risk of failure”, explained Mark. “But it’s heart-breaking to think that my journey might be over before I’ve even set foot on Arctic ice.

"The support for my journey has been incredible, from the school children I’ve spoken to from the South Pole to the hundreds of people who have been sending me messages of encouragement along the way.

"My dream has always been to achieve one of the great polar expeditions of our time and to share that experience with as many people as possible.

"I’m just hoping that there’s a company out there that sees why these expeditions are important, the inspiration they provide, and who is willing to put their weight behind making this dream a reality.”

"The Antarctic leg of Mark’s expedition was a huge success; thousands of people followed his progress as he faced extreme isolation, enormous blisters and a diet of freeze-dried spaghetti bolognaise before successfully reaching the pole on the 10 January.

"Mark is using his challenge to help raise awareness of the impact of climate change at the poles, an impact that he is now feeling the effects of first hand before the next phase of his journey has even begun. ..."

 

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We had interviewed Marc Wood just few days before the anouncement of a possible giving up the second leg of his adventure.

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