BOULDER, Colo., Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- In March 2014, Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters, will traverse the Arctic Ocean from Northern Ellesmere Island to the geographic North Pole. The team hopes to cover the nearly 500-mile distance in less than 49 days; in doing so, they would break the current 'unsupported' expedition speed record set by a Norwegian team in 2006.
"This is easily one of the most difficult expeditions in the world," Larsen said. "While there have been over 1,500 Mt. Everest summits in the past three years, no one has completed a full land to North Pole traverse since 2010." Larsen is no stranger to extreme expeditions. In 2010, he became the first person in history to successfully complete expeditions to South Pole, North Pole and the summit of Mount Everest in a continuous 365-day period. In 2006, Larsen completed the first ever summer expedition to the North Pole.
For this upcoming expedition, dubbed Last North, Larsen and Waters will travel across the moving sea ice by skis, snowshoes, and at times, swimming through the semi frozen slush. Being an unsupported expedition, the team will not receive any outside assistance or supplies during their journey and will have to pull all of their food and equipment - nearly 350 pounds - in lightweight Kevlar sleds, that can be 'rafted' together for larger open water crossings. Larsen is working closely with a select group of gear manufacturers to develop a variety of lightweight, durable equipment tailor made to withstand the extreme conditions of this journey. Seattle-based Mountain Safety Research is taking a lead role innovating polar-specific gear.
Larsen and his team are not just focused on setting a new world record. "More important is the fact that this may realistically be the last opportunity anyone has to complete a journey of this type, in this region," said Larsen, from his expedition headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. "Global warming is causing dramatic changes in the Arctic pack ice. Ice is melting at historically high rates and is becoming significantly less stable with each passing year. These conditions will make expeditions like this impossible to complete in the very near future."
The Last North expedition is partnered with with the Climate Reality Project, an organization founded and chaired by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, which is dedicated to unleashing a global cultural movement demanding action on the climate crisis.
Despite being one of the most cold and hostile environments on the planet, the Arctic Ocean has seen a steady and significant reduction of sea ice over the past seven years. In August of 1996, ice coverage spanned 3.16 million square miles, whereas this past August, Arctic Ocean sea ice coverage was measured at only 2.25 million square miles.
Minute by minute progress updates will be available through Larsen's website, which has been newly redesigned by Minneapolis-based Space2Burn. Using real-time tracking and two-way messaging via DeLorme's inReach SE Communicator with GPS, expedition followers and fans across the globe will be able to visit the website (www.ericlarsenexplore.com) to follow the team's progress, view photo streams, tweets, podcasts, and daily blog posts sent via a remote blogging program designed by WebExpeditions.
Larsen will also continue his groundbreaking use of social media. In 2010, he became the first person to tweet from the top of Mt. Everest using a DeLorme device. This year Larsen's @ELExplore Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and Yonder feeds as well as his Polar Explorer Eric Larsen Facebook page will allow a global audience to interact and engage with daily content, in real time, as well as learn more about several climate-related charities and how they can support each organization.
The Last North expedition is sponsored by DeLorme and Mountain Safety Research with major support from Microsoft Windows, Granite Gear, Wigwam, Yaktrax, Stanley, and SMAK Strategies. Additional expedition support is provided by Ergodyne, Hilleberg, Potable Aqua, Helly Hansen, Epic Bar, Skratch Labs, Princeton Tec, Clif Bar, Bergans, Optic Nerve, Asnes, Mountain House, Therm-a-Rest, Thule, Iridium, Merrell, Action Wipes, Coleman First Aid Kits, Sony, WebExpeditions, Scream Agency, Be Media House and Yonder. Eric is actively seeking additional sponsorships to support this endeavor.
Media Contact: Maria Hennessey, SMAK Strategies, 3038593317, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE SMAK Strategies