Cold feat Explorers in North Pole position
Published 08/02/2010 | 05:00
FROM the risk of polar bear attacks to massive tumbling ice blocks, it isn't exactly the average holiday.
However, a team of adventurers have put discomfort to one side in their ambition to become the first Irish people ever to reach the North Pole.
Renowned explorer Pat Falvey, along with Dr Clare O'Leary and John Dowd, left Ireland yesterday at the start of their 784km expedition.
If they complete the challenge, regarded as one of the most difficult in the world, Mr Falvey and Dr O'Leary will be among only 15 people in the world who have reached the North Pole, the South Pole and Mount Everest.
"The journey is equivalent to 60 consecutive marathons through cold down to -60C ," Mr Falvey said.
The three adventurers, pictured training in Canada recently, will each pull 220lb sleds behind them during the two-month expedition when they will walk, ski and swim in order to get to their eventual destination.
The first part of the journey will be three weeks of training, after which the trip itself will start on March 1.
The route has been called one of the most dangerous and difficult adventures on the planet due to the effects of global warming.
Sharp changes in the weather have led to cracks in ice and tumbling blocks and ridges.
This is the latest in a long career of adventure trips for Mr Falvey, who is well known for his passion for expeditions.
In December, the team travelled to Canada to test gear and equipment. They will also start their trip from there.
Over a lengthy career in the wilds, Mr Falvey has completed 65 worldwide expeditions, while Ms O'Leary has been on 22, and Mr Dowd on 12.
Both Mr Falvey and Dr O'Leary have completed the 'Seven Summits' challenge where they have reached the highest peaks on seven continents.