North Pole 2011: Ben Saunders Updates Us On His Plans

Last week I posted an update from Ben Saunders who was forced to abort his solo and unsupported attempt on the North Pole speed record due to weather. At the time, we only had a simple Twitter post to give us the news, but later in the day Ben wrote his thoughts on having to head home before he ever had a chance to get underway.

As you can imagine, Ben is feeling a bit frustrated and very disappointed at the outcome of the expedition this year. For three straight seasons he has attempted to set a new speed record to the Pole, only to variables out of his control thwart him at every turn. In the past, it was equipment that let him down, but this year it was the weather. A never ending bout of incredibly bad weather put an early end to the polar season this year, preventing any planes from landing at Cape Discovery, where many arctic explorers had hoped to get underway. In his blog post, Ben noted that the current weather system that is hovering over the region is unlike any that has ever been seen before. One can’t help but wonder if this is a freak occurrence or if it is a result of changes in our weather patterns due to other climate changes.

For now, Ben is heading home, but he has already announced that he’ll be heading to Antarctica in October to take part in an expedition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Scott Expedition to the South Pole. Expect to hear a lot more about that event in the fall, when there will no doubt be plenty of attention centered around the Scott and Amundsen expeditions.

For a final video from Resolute Bay, check out Ben’s “Open Ending” below.

Ben Saunders – Open Ending from Ben Saunders on Vimeo.

Kraig Becker