Battling the Ice
With so many challenges I have faced in my life it's true that planning is one thing, but the truth of a situation is often found out on the road.
I have an expert team around me for the Pole to Pole Run - route planners pouring over maps, logistics people figuring out how to get our expedition vehicles through tropical jungle and for the Poles, I have a group of experienced adventurers. They've shared their knowledge with me and helped my training. They told me that hauling a sled would be tough, so I started dragging tyres through Central Park. They told me skiing is the best way to get across snow and ice, so I started getting on skis everyday. But for everything they told me - about the cold, the isolation, the physical work and the vicious terrain - I've had to discover the truth of it all, for myself.
The Arctic ice cap is humbling. Trying to cross it is the hardest thing I have ever done. The four of us, trekking out here, are just bystanders to a battle that we are too small to influence. This world is all about wind versus water. Stretching out to the horizon is the battlefield where the war plays out. Pressure ridges caused by sheets of ice smashing into each other have risen up right in front of us, making 3 metre high walls that must be climbed. I've seen these ridges split apart, revealing icy water to swim across. Each obstacle must be beaten, while dragging a kayak. All this delays our progress and saps our energy. And it's relentless. And every new block to our progress has to be weighed, considered, analysed and dealt with safely. Swim across? Climb over? Look for a gap? Walk around? It doesn't matter if it's late in the day, you still have to make a call and follow it through. And when fatigue has set in, that's when mistakes are more likely. We haven't made any major mistakes yet. We're pulling together as a unit and putting in the work. It's all we can do. There's only one solution to end the hardship. Get to Canada. Let's go.