North Pole 2013: Racing To The Magnetic North Pole

The 2013 North Pole season has been a non-starter so far this year, but we’re about to get a few adventurers heading out on Arctic adventures. The Barneo Ice Camp is now set to open early next week, which will grant access for last degree skiers to the North Pole. But on the other side of the planet adventurer Gavin Bate is preparing to embark on a long distance polar trek that will culminate at the Magnetic North Pole.

Gavin should arrive in Resolute Bay, Canada sometime today and he plans to embark on his 550 km (341 mile) journey on Monday. He’ll then travel on skis, pulling a sledge filled with his gear and supplies, toward the MNP. That means he isn’t headed toward 90ºN, which is the location of the Geographic North Pole, but will actually be skiing to 78° 35’N, 104°11’W, which was the location of the Magnetic North Pole in 1996. That position was marked for the first Polar Race, and although the MNP moves over time, it has remained a landmark ever since.

In the spirit of that Polar Race, Gavin has named his expedition the Race Me To The Pole. He’ll be going solo on this journey but he is inviting supporters to race him to the finish line by donating to his cause. The explorer is using the expedition to raise funds for his Moving Mountains Trust, an organization dedicated to sustainable development in Tanzania, Kenya, Borneo and Nepal. Every £1 ($1.50) is worth 25 meters of distance and the hope is that those donating to the charity will actually raise enough money to cover the 550 km distance before Bate does.

You’ll be able to follow Gavin’s progress on While this won’t be a full distance journey to the North Pole, but it will still be a good challenge. Considering how few expeditions to the Arctic we’ve seen over the pat few years, it’s good to have one to follow this spring. Good luck to Gavin on this endeavor.

Kraig Becker