North Pole Return Adventure Complete!


Norwegian explorers Audun Tholfsen and Timo Palo have completed their arctic adventure at last. The two men, whom I’ve written about a couple of times throughout their journey, arrived at Longyearbyen a few days ago, closing out a 1600km (994 mile) expedition that took 72 days to finish.

The two men launched their excursion on April 23, starting at 90ºN and heading south towards Svalbard. Using skis and kayaks they crossed vast open areas of ice and ocean, enduring incredibly bad weather, daunting surface conditions and the occasional polar bear while en route.

Audun and Timo estimate that of the 1600 or so kilometers that they covered in their journey about 400km (248 miles) of that was done in a kayak. The rest of the time they were on skis and pulling their gear, including the kayaks, behind them. That’s a lot of miles to cover on foot in some of the toughest conditions on the planet.

Now that they’ve been back for a few days the two men report that they are in good physical condition and recovering nicely from the challenges of the expedition. They say that they’ve missed hot showers and pizza the most, and I suspect that they are enjoying both right now. They promise to share more information on their adventure once they’ve had a chance to rest and settle in, so be sure to watch their website for any future updates.

Congrats to both Audun and Timo on a job well done. Those pizzas and hot showers have been well earned mates.

Kraig Becker