World renowned Irish adventurers Pat Falvey, Dr. Clare O’Leary and John Dowd will complete a historical and icy voyage as they navigate, walk, ski, and swim for two months on a 784 km expedition of endurance. Man-hauling their sleds across the rugged, broken, melting Arctic Ocean from Canada, they will be the first Irish team to reach the North Pole without the aid of dogs or any mechanical means.
Traversing the ice to reach the North Pole is now considered the most difficult challenge on earth due to the effects of global warming. The all-Irish team will experience climate change first-hand when forced to negotiate thousands of open leads and cracks in the ice, and to climb erupting pressure ridges and tumbling ice blocks the size of four-storey houses, all while dragging sleds and gear behind them weighing 220 lbs each. They will also face the very real risk of polar bear attack.
“The journey is equivalent to 60 consecutive marathons,” says Pat Falvey, “through cold down to -60 degrees Celsius.” The team must travel in order to train in similar conditions, having already completed several trips over the past year. December ’09 will find them testing gear and equipment in Canada, returning again to Canada in February for training, leading directly to an expedition start March 1, 2010.
For both Falvey and O’Leary, reaching the North Pole will mark the distinctive completion of the 3 Poles Challenge. The 3 Poles is an adventure challenge to reach the three most extreme poles on earth: Everest as the highest pole, the South Pole, and the North Pole. If successful, culmination of the 3 Poles challenge for Pat and Clare will place them among only 15 people in the world to complete this grueling achievement.
Pat Falvey is a veteran of over 65 worldwide expeditions while Clare O’Leary is a veteran of 22, and John Dowd a veteran of 12 expeditions. Both Falvey and O’Leary have already completed the Seven Summits Challenge, reaching the highest peaks on the seven continents. Dowd has completed five of the seven summits to date.
Further information and daily blogs will be available in the coming weeks. In the mean time, if you have any queries or would like to find out more, Contact:
The Mountain Lodge
Killarney, Co. Kerry