Here at The Adventure Blog we’re delight whenever one of the major explorers, climbers, or adventurers get some much-deserved exposure through the mainstream press. We, along with a few other outdoor publications and websites, often write about the big things that are happening around the world in terms of adventure and exploration, but all too often those stories are ignored by larger outlets. With that in mind, it was great to see Forbes publish an interview with polar legend Borge Ousland fresh off his latest expedition across the Arctic with Mike Horn.
For those who didn’t follow that journey as it unfolded, the Ousland and Horn set out from Nome, Alaska back in September, sailing north aboard Horn’s ship, the Pangaea. Once they were far enough north to reach the ice pack, they then left the ship behind and skied to the North Pole, which in and of itself is quite an accomplishment, especially as climate change raves the polar regions. But they weren’t done there. After reaching 90ºN, they then proceeded so ski south, down the other side of the planet. The expedition turned into one of the greatest polar adventures of all time, pushing both of these veteran explorers to their very limits. It took them 87 days to complete their sojourn, arriving at the evacuation ship in early December. That wasn’t the end of their challenges however, as the ship then spent three additional weeks stuck in the ice before they couldn’t finally proceed for home.
In the interview with Forbes, Ousland discusses what it was like to ski across a polar ice cap that is becoming increasingly smaller and thinner. Borge says there were times when he didn’t think that he and Horn would be able to complete the crossing. It was simply too difficult, with temperatures falling to -40ºC/F, lots of negative drift, high winds, open leads of water, and about every other challenge imaginable. Just how close did they cut it in the end? He says they had food and fuel for 85 days, so when they arrived at the ship there was just 370 grams of food and half a fuel bottle left. That’s pretty tight.
The story touches on a number of other interesting topics as well. Borge talks about what scares him and how he handles fear, the seriousness of the frostbite they suffered on the journey, and how important it is to undertake an expedition like this with someone you know and trust. He also mentions what’s next on his agenda as he looks to put this massive expedition behind him.
You can read the entire interview here.
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