For the past few months we’ve been following Mark Wood on his North South Solo Expedition as he attempts to make back-to-back trips to the North and South Pole. After 50 days in the Antarctic, Mark achieved the first leg of that journey by reaching the South Pole on January 10th. He has now moved on to Canada, where he’s now preparing for the Arctic leg of his adventure, although there has now been a change of plans.
Apparently Mark enjoys traveling south much more than north, as he will no longer be traveling from Cape Discovery to the North Pole, but will instead go in the opposite direction. I received a press release this morning that indicated that this change of course is a direct result of the unstable ice conditions at the top of the world. It has been no secret that global climate change has caused the Arctic ice to become thinner and break-up more often. That has made North Pole expeditions extremely challenging the past few years. Marks plan is to start at the top of the world and head South instead, which makes it a bit easier to deal with those unstable conditions. It also means that he’ll probably have the drifting ice work in his favor, which is usually a real challenge to those heading north.
This change in plan means that Mark is now headed home to London for a brief stop over, before proceeding to the North Pole in a month or so. My guess is that he’ll get to 90ºN by way of the Barneo Ice Station, which is created on the Russian side of the Arctic each year. He’ll then start heading south towards Cape Discovery, in Canada, while reporting back live on his findings of the impact of climate change on the ice there.
Stay tuned for more. We’ll continue to follow Mark’s grand adventure in the weeks ahead.
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