I am one of those ordinary people. In July this year (2015), I attended a gruelling selection weekend run by Jim McNeill, polar explorer. He wanted to find people willing and capable of joining him on a spectacular journey; an expedition to reach a place no one has reached before: the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility.
The weekend was both horrendous and amazing at the same time. At one (low) point on the Saturday afternoon I thought to myself; “Well, if I can get to the end of this weekend; keep up with all these fit people; hold out to Sunday evening, I’ll be happy; never mind the ruddy Pole!”
And I did!
Not only that, but during an interview on the Sunday, my instructor, Emma, told me that “my fun and exuberance would be an asset to any expedition”. I was in!
So now I just have to get fit, attend training and raise £25k in Sponsorship before the end of this year, ready for an expedition that leaves in Spring next year. No problem!!
The expedition will leave in February 2016 and will run in 4 stages, with small groups of ordinary people joining Jim for 200 miles of the 800 mile journey.
We will trek across treacherous sea-ice, in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth.
We will face frigid temperatures that will freeze flesh in seconds.
Polar bears will hunt us.
An ocean below will be ready to swallow us up.
But nothing worthwhile is easy. And we have loads of support. Here’s a taste of it.
Who’s behind us?
Sir Ranulph Fiennes; Patron of the Ice Warrior Project says: “Ice Warrior has all the potential of a truly great British First. Slightly mad and eccentric in conception, thorough and precise in planning and likely to prove ingenious and resolved in execution. I wish Jim and his team the very best of luck in their endeavours.”
Michael Palin: “Learning to travel the hard way is not only the best way, but it’s also the most memorable. I greatly admire all of you for having a go – believe me you won’t forget the experience. Good luck.”
Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE: “To Jim and all the Ice Warrior Team.I know how hard training can be, but push on, you will find it is worth it.”
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “There are very few places on Earth that are truly unexplored: Jim McNeill and his Ice Warrior team are hoping to reduce that by one by walking to the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility. This is a groundbreaking expedition with people from all walks of life taking part, including a member of staff from City Hall. I am delighted that London is leading the way on this scientific and environmental odyssey. I wish Jim and his team all the very best.”
Here’s my personal favourite, which shows how nothing much has changed in trying to achieve these World firsts;
Alexandra Shackleton: “My grandfather, Ernest Shackleton, is always identified with “White South”; yet in 1920 he was planning an expedition to a white north. He intended to seek out the Pole of Inaccessibility in the Beaufort Sea which Shackleton referred to as mare incognita and terra incognita. However problems with finances meant it was too late to go north in the season so he went south. He died at the outset of that expedition. Nearly a century later, Jim McNeill of Ice Warrior is planning his third attempt on the Pole of Inaccessibility. The terrain is exceptionally hostile and dangerous; but I am confident that Jim and his team will be successful not only in reaching the elusive pole; but in conducting an environmentally vital transect of the Arctic Ocean; for as Ernest Shackleton said; “difficulties are just things to overcome” (1907).”
What can you do?
So, if you’re excited about this too, get stuck in with me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask some more. Think about contacts you may have who might help me. Donate if you can.
All money donated here will go directly and fully to my expedition costs. Press the Donate button below if you want to do this.
However I also want to use this expedition to help raise funds for two charities that are close to my heart.
Click here to help me raise funds for The Library in the Gardens. In 2013 Sefton council took the unpopular decision to close seven of Seftons local libraries. Local residents in Churchtown are trying to re-open their local library through community efforts and have identified and secured a building in the Botanic Gardens. They are now trying to raise funds to renovate this building and bring a library service back to the village.
I also want to use this fantastic opportunity to help inspire young girls and women, to demonstrate that working towards our goals, whatever they are, can be so exhilarating. I want to help them in a more practical way too, by raising money for the charity, Girls Out Loud
In my work as both a therapist and a social worker, I meet many young girls who have lost their way, who are struggling with low mood, anxiety, poor self esteem. They may be self-harming, abusing alcohol,
struggling with food related issues or being exploited sexually. Often they feel they have no-one to talk to, no-one they can rely on. Often they don’t need a therapist; they just need a trusted adult who can guide them, be there for them, demonstrate a better way of living. Research shows that young people enjoy significantly better outcomes if they have a trusted adult around them that they can rely on. Sadly some young people can’t find this within their own families. Girls Out Loud aims to provide this for girls through its Big Sister programme. The programme matches young girls with adults who commit to being around for the young girl for 12 months.
Please help me to raise money to help this fantastic charity continue the work it does. Click here to help raise money for GirlsOutLoud.