Ben Saunders Embarks on Solo Journey to the North Pole On Foot


My friend Ben Saunders is more than a polar explorer; he a man who is deeply passionate and convicted, one of those people who lives his life with this Star Trek-like raison d’etre in mind: Let’s boldly go where no man has gone before. Only difference is: Ben does it solo. He left for an expedition this week that started in Resolute Bay in northern Canada, roughly 500 miles above the Arctic Circle.  From there, he headed south and over the next several weeks, he will be traveling by foot solo and unsupported to the North Pole, with the aim of setting a speed record in the process. As daft challenges go, this is a big one: only two people in history have reached the Pole solo and unsupported (i.e. with no airdrops of food en route) and the most recent was eight years ago.

In 2005, a guided team using dog sleds and several air-drops of food reached the Pole in 36 days, 22 hours, and in 2010 a Canadian team reached the Pole on foot in 41 days, 18 hours with one resupply flight.  A tough challenge ahead of him, he is moving on skis and snowshoes, hauling a sled containing food, equipment, and a cutting-edge satellite tracking beacon that will enable real-time position updates as Ben heads north.

Ben’s 487-mile journey crosses the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean, one of the harshest environments on the planet. There are no route maps as the pack ice is in a constant state of flux, melting, refreezing and drifting according to the competing forces of temperature, wind, current and tide. One of the biggest obstacles Ben expects to encounter are areas of open water; cracks in the ice known as leads. The Arctic Ocean is also home to the polar bear, and ambient temperatures can reach -50°C. Not surprising, his Twitter handle is Polar Ben: @polarben.

The below video explains his mission in a bit more detail:

Ben Saunders – North 3 from Ben Saunders on Vimeo.

Photo Credit: Andy Ward

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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