Svalbard Solo Expedition: Four Weeks Alone In The Arctic

Traditionally this is the time of the year when arctic expeditions begin to ramp up, particularly with skiers attempting to go to the North Pole. As I’ve mentioned numerous times in recent weeks however, that is becoming a more difficult prospect with each passing year and fewer and fewer adventurers have set their sights on that difficult journey.

But that doesn’t mean the arctic doesn’t have plenty to offer in terms of other challenges and there are still plenty of opportunities to explore its icy landscapes. Take the Svalbard Solo expedition for example, which will send Liam Wilton on a month-long journey through Norway’s Spitsbergen island, the largest in the Svalbard archipelago.

Wilton intends to set out in early-March on what will be a 450 mile (724 km) unsupported and unassisted ski expedition through the Arctic. He’ll spend the first week acclimatizing near Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on Spitsbergen. Those early days of the expedition will give him the opportunity to get use to the cold temperatures while also testing his gear and supplies. Once he completes that work, he’ll launch the expedition proper, heading north to the furthest reaches of the island.

Liam has set a goal of covering approximately 15 miles (24 km) per day, which would mean he should finish the route in about 30 days. Along the way he intends to shoot video of the landscape and his travels through it with the intention of making a short film about solo arctic travel when he returns home.

The expedition is still a couple of weeks from getting underway and Wilton is busy getting his gear sorted and last minute travel details worked out. You’ll be able to follow his progress on or through his Twitter feed.

Good luck Liam! Enjoy the experience.

Kraig Becker