Pole2Pole Expedition: 12 Month Journey From North to South Pole Begins Today!

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Swedish explorer Johan Ernst Nilson is about to embark on an epic and ambitious expedition that will see him travel from the North to the South Pole in under 12 months. If that wasn’t challenging enough, he’ll also be doing it in a carbon neutral manner, making the entire journey without the use of fossil fuels.

The projected is called the Pole2Pole Expedition and it is being sponsored by Audi. The journey officially gets underway today, with Nilson being dropped off at the North Pole, where he’ll make the first stage of the journey on skis, heading south to Greenland. Once there, he’ll begin the second stage of his journey, which will take him to Thule Airbase, located on the northwest side of the country. He’ll make that trip by dogsled. The third stage of the expedition will be an aquatic one, as Nilson will then board a sailboat and cross the Northern Atlantic to Ottawa, Canada. Once there, he’ll embark on the longest leg of the trip, during which he’ll make his way from Canada to Patagonia on a bicycle. After that, it’s back in the sailboat for a quick crossing of the Drake Passage, arriving in Antarctica late in the year, where he’ll start the final leg of the journey, kite-sledding to the South Pole.

If all goes as planned, it’ll take Nilson less than 12-months to complete the expedition, but it certainly won’t be easy. He may be cutting it close on the far end, as we all know that the Antarctic season is quite treacherous after mid-January or so. But that is probably getting well ahead of ourselves, for the moment, he should be concerned with just getting out of the Arctic in one piece.

For their part, Audi is taking an active role in their sponsorship of the expedition. They’ve helped Nilson design a lightweight, yet durable, sled that he’ll be puling behind him in both of the polar regions, and their vehicles are being used by a support team and documentary film crew that are following the explorer on his journey. Nilson will also be stopping at various Audi dealerships along the way to help cover that all important sponsorship.

In order to arrive at the South Pole by April 6, 2012, Nilson is going to have to average roughly 62 miles per day. Obviously that’s not out of the question on a bike or kite-skiing, and certainly not in a sailboat. Skiing from the North Pole to Greenland will be the biggest challenge, which he may be finding out at this very moment.

It should be fun to follow along on this expedition. Stay tuned for updates.

Kraig Becker