In February 2015 I'll leave Ellef Ringnes Island in Arctic Canada to trek to the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility, the furthest point from land at the heart of the Arctic Ocean.
I'm part of a team of 28 people taking part in the challenge as part of the Ice Warriorproject, founded by eminent polar explorer, Jim McNeill. Our mission is to become the first people to reach the pole and to ground-truth satellite data of ice thickness in the Arctic. I consider it to be taking the temperature of the planet in the fragile polar environment that acts as an early warning system to the rest of the planet. We'll also be counting the number of polar bears we see, noting their condition and location. In total I hope to spend 20 days on the ice and cover 200 miles on skis, dragging a qajak that weighs as much as me. After I've completed my stint I'll swap over with another team member and flown back to advanced base camp to continue to assist with the science and logistics of the expedition.
This journey follows on from The Cycle Diaries adventure I completed in December 2012. It is quite different in nature! Besides not cycling it I'll be part of a larger team and operating in an extremely hostile environment. It also costs more than my bicycle, tent. and 16 months supply of cheese sandwiches so corporate sponsorship is needed. The need to approach people for money combined with the thought of travelling across an ever diminishing layer of ice that rests upon a raging ocean at temperatures as low as -40C while being at the mercy of hungry polar bears fills me with a great deal of trepidation.
But that is precisely why I'm doing it.
For more information - www.arcticandy.com