In the world of extreme adventuring, there is always another expedition to be had. Always another mountain to climb, route to accomplish, or journey to experience. However, there is one achievement that many world class adventurers strive for, The Explorers Grand Slam. The Explorers Grand Slam combines climbing the tallest mountain on every continent (The 7 Summits) and skiing at least the Last Degree to the North and South Poles. Each of these expeditions is a challenge in its own right, but most often adventurers complete the 7 summits before continuing on to the Poles. Spending that much time on mountains will turn any climber into an expert, but the North and South Pole offer some distinctly different challenges that can pose a serious threat to those unprepared for the experience.
We asked Ian Clarke (shown LEFT) and John Dahlem (shown RIGHT), both expert expeditioners and Grand Slam completionists, to weigh in on the differences between their Polar Expeditions and 7 Summits. Hopefully their advice will help you in your journey to The Explorers Grand Slam.
In addition to all of the other challenges involved with traveling in the Polar Regions, the conditions can take a serious toll on your electronics. This can be dangerous; if your camera is frozen up or your batteries are dead, how will you get the shot of your buddy being dragged helplessly along by the dogsled to send to all his friends? After all, If there isn’t a picture of it, it didn’t happen.
Here are some tips, tricks, and recommendations for caring for your electronics in the cold.
Current Position N 89°49'41" E 135°27'10"
That puts our team at just over 10 nautical miles away from the North Pole!
Current position (N 89° 37' 16" E 123° 49' 32")
The Last Degree team made excellent progress again today as they navigated over and around an increasing number of pressure ridges and rubble zones, followed by a long flat pan of ice. Their tenacious pace, coupled with positive drift, (1.5 nautical miles overnight) has put them well ahead of schedule as they approach the 2/3 mark of the expedition.
Get Sponsored: 8 tips on funding your next expedition
Here at PolarExplorers, we are contacted every day by aspiring adventurers who lack the funding to achieve their expedition goals, so we reached out to an expert on the subject of getting sponsored.
Jeff Blumenfeld, founder of Expedition News and author of Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers, and Would-Be World Travelers, gave us his take on how to be successful when looking for sponsors on your next expedition.
After 6 days of being on the water, the Plancius has finally turned toward the main goal of the expedition, South Georgia Island. As of our last contact with the team at 8pm November 7th (UTC-2), they were approximately 1/3 of the way to South Georgia Island from The Falklands. After leaving the protection of the Falkland Islands, the ship once again entered into big seas, but with their sea legs still strong, no one on board have had trouble with the rolling and bucking of the ship.
Below you'll find two of our recent Audio Updates. Parts of the calls are garbled, but still very interesting to hear.
Do you have the ambition to take part in a Polar Expedition but are hesitant because you lack experience? We interviewed one of our most recent North Pole Last Degree team members, Danny Lubert, who was in this same position and asked him to reflect on his first expedition experience.
Current Position: N 89° 20.1', E 90° 57.9'
Around 1:00 this afternoon the team was dropped off to officially begin their expedition. They traversed through a good sized rubble field and the flat light presented some challenges. By 4:00 the sun came out and the weather improved so they were able to increase their pace. They skied for 4 1/2 hours today and travelled 3 nm.
Everyone is warm and happy as they settle in for the night and prepare their dinner of soup and quesadillas. They are looking forward to a full day of skiing tomorrow.
This afternoon the group departed Longyearbyen for the Barneo Ice Camp. Barneo is a Russian camp and runway that is set up on the Arctic ice for only 3 weeks of the year. The delay turned out to be worthwhile as they spotted four polar bears during their flight. This was an amazing way to begin their expedition!
Today the weather at Barneo is relatively warm. It is overcast with a wind out of the southeast. The team is getting ready for dinner and is very excited to start heading north tomorrow.
After a four hour delay, the team's flight left Longyearbeyn and has landed at the Barneo Ice Camp. Despite the delay, everyone is in good spirits. During the flight they were treated to a sighting of 4 polar bears. What a special way to begin an expedition!
The air feels warm, it is a bit overcast, and there is some wind out of the southeast. The team is gathering for dinner and is very excited to begin heading north tomorrow.