Explorer Mike Horn Climbing Makalu, Before Going Pole-To-Pole

South African explorer Mike Horn has a busy schedule planned for 2014. He is currently in Nepal, where he, and his climbing partner Fred Roux, are preparing to take on the fifth highest peak in the world, Makalu, which stands 8463 meters (27,766 ft) in height. They’ll attempt that climb in alpine style, without the use of supplemental oxygen or Sherpa support. While that sounds ambitious enough, it is only the tip of the iceberg for Mike’s adventurous plans later in the year.

In September, Mike will launch what he has dubbed as his Pole2Pole 360º expedition. Setting out from Gibraltar, he’ll set sail south aboard his boat Pangaea for Cape Town. After that, he’ll cross the Southern Ocean to Antarctica, which he’ll then traverse on skis. When he has completed that epic undertaking, he’ll return to his ship and start sailing north until he reaches the Arctic. Once that leg of the journey is done, he’ll then don his skis once again as he heads for the North Pole. But even then, he won’t quite be finished, as Mike intends to head back south on foot and kayak, crossing Greenland along the way, before sailing back to his starting point in Gibraltar.

As with many of Mike’s past expeditions, the 110-foot Pangaea  will serve as a mobile base station. While he is busy traversing the Antarctic and Arctic on foot, the ship will be sailing with all speed to his extraction points. The ship will carry a crew of as many as 30 people, who will be helping to document the journey and share Mike’s adventure with the world.

Horn, who has a history of long, extended journeys, feels that this will be one of the greater expeditions of the 21st century, and it is difficult to argue against him. As we all know by now, a journey to the North Pole on foot is one of the greatest challenges in the world of adventure at the moment, and a traverse of the Antarctic remains incredibly difficult as well. It will be quite interesting to follow along with Mike on this excursion, which promises to be as challenging as anything he – or anyone else – has ever done.

Watch for more updates in the weeks ahead. And thanks to ExWeb for the tip!

Kraig Becker