3. March 2009

Greetings All,

New Zealand television station TV3 run a small clip about my Polar exploits on their 9pm news programme last night. Presenter Adam Hollingworth came up with the idea and then did an excellent job of putting the clip together and was even able to show pretty good restraint on artistic licence!!

You can view the news clip with the following link and then click on Watch Video.



Headed North

13. February 2009

Greetings Folks

After arriving at the Geographic South Pole on 3rd January NZT it seemed logical, though some friends have described it slightly differently,  to head for the Geographic North Pole. So the plan is in place folks.

On 30th March I will meet up with some fellow expeditioners in Spitsbergen, Norway, where we will join an expedition run by Russian Polar experts, Vicaar International. Similiar deal to Antarctica with chilly temperatures and hauling pulks across icy stuff but this one is much shorter.  From Spitsbergen we will be airlifted into Vicaar’s base camp at around 89 degrees latitude. We will then haul the last degree (110 km) to the Geographic North Pole.

The big differences in the North are that we will be on sea ice of varying thicknesses instead of 3000 feet of ice on land with Antarctica. The going in the North will be much tougher with ice rubble and pressure ridges presenting a more difficult terrain than the wind formed sastrugi in the South.  Travelling on iceflows will also present additional challenges if they are moving away from the Pole. I understand they had to keep moving groups forward by helicopter last year as the iceflows were moving away from the Pole faster than the groups could haul towards it.

After missing out on a Polar Bear sighting during the Polar Challenge early last year I really look forward to being back in the home of these magnificent animals. Hopefully we will have some encounters.

The next hot press release should be from Spitsbergen before heading onto the ice.

Regards to All


The Journey

1. February 2009

Seasons Greetings All,

I am now back in New Zealand enjoying the warm weather after a fantastic adventure. Below is a small story about the expedition and a few photos are posted in the Gallery.


 The Journey Begins:

Picking up the thread from the last posting at Punta Arenas we had organized all our provisions and were waiting for the green light to fly to the big frozen place.

Early morning 10th November we received notification of pick up and by mid morning we were boarding the huge Russian Ilyushin 76 cargo jet that would transport us.

After all the mundane training and preparation the Ilyushin fish tailing as it landed on the blue ice runway at Patriot Hills 5 hours later kick started the excitement.

Disembarking onto the expansive ice of the Antarctic Continent was rather surreal. The adventure was about to really begin.

A small team of Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE) staff had flown down with the Twin Otter aircraft ALE use on the ice and been at Patriot Hills for a week preparing the runway for the Ilyushin and getting the first of the camp facility tents up; but other than a few tents and some machinery there was not much there. The first significant group of the 50 or so ALE staff that operate the Patriot Hills camp, and also a smaller camp at Mount Vinson for the climbers, had just arrived on the first Ilyushin of the season along with us.

We pitched our tents and had an easy day preparing our pulks (sleds) as we had been scheduled for the next days flight to our start point at Hercules Inlet, 80 degrees south on the coast. Mid afternoon of 11th November we loaded our 60kg pulks and ourselves onto one of the Twin Otters. Thirty minutes later we were standing on the ice at Hercules Inlet with our skis and pulks watching the Otter take off and head back to Patriot Hills. Only 1170 kms to the Pole. Wanting to establish a daily routine we only hauled for two hours that day before setting up camp number one, but the journey had commenced. Over the next three days we hauled up the steepest terrain of the journey. The definition of steep needs to be put in context in that we were able to ski at all times so no problem. This area was also where the most crevasses were encountered though again no great problem with Sarah’s expertise on hand. Most were less than a metre wide and a few good prods with the ski pole determined how cautious we needed to be. A few were up to 5 metres wide and we simply took the safe option of moving to a narrower section before crossing. In the cases where you could break through the bridging ice, with the ski pole, it was quite enlightening to see just how deep these ice cracks are. Around midday of day four, 14th November, we arrived back into Patriot Hills. The ALE staff had been busy and the camp was taking shape with the dining tent being the main attraction. We spent the afternoon at Patriot Hills sorting equipment, discarding some items we had put to test and decided not to continue with, and to rectify skin attachments to skis (skins provide grip) which had given problems.

 The Storm:

The next morning with strong winds and a 60 knot wind warning, we headed off. A testing day in strong winds as we traversed across numerous patches of blue ice at the base of the Patriot Hills ranges. The wind strength was increasing as we pitched camp number five, and with the 60 knot wind warning we expected a turbulent night. We were not disappointed. Early morning one of the poles broke in our tent so it was all hands on deck to sort the problem before further damage occurred. The spare pole was fitted and back into the safety of the tent. With the winds hammering the tent and threatening further pole breakages, we sat inside holding the tent structure for support until Tom had the superb idea of using our ski boots and ski poles as props. A couple of hours later the girls’ tent had succumbed with two broken poles so we had no alternative but to collapse it completely and stow it before it was destroyed. Five of us in one tent was very cosy. About midday the winds started to ease and we spent the afternoon repairing the tents. Next morning, day seven, we were back on the trail.

 Typical Day:

My diary is filled with daily notes but rather than totally bore you all, I will try to give an overview of the next 46 days’ journey to the pole.

We woke at 0630 each morning, and whoever was on cooking duty would start the cookers and get water boiling for breakfast and hot drinks. Water made from snow the previous evening and stored in nalgene bottles was used for a quick start. Preparing a breakfast of oatmeal or granola with hot water, hot drinks, replenishing nalgenes and reheating nalgenes/thermoses was a constant rolling process for the cook. All cooking was done in the vestibule at the upwind end of the tent, the door being at the downwind end. By 0800 the morning tasks were pretty much done and at 0815 it was time to pack up the pulks, drop the tents and strap skis on. The first week or so we were hauling by 0845 but as efficiencies were improved we had that down to 0830. Then the day consisted of hauling for 3 x one-and-a-half hour stints, and 2 x one-and-a-quarter hour stints to give an actual seven hours of hauling. The breaks between stints were 15 to 20 minutes with the first task on stopping being to put a down jacket on to try and maintain body core temperature while stopped. Peeing was usually the next task for which minimum time with gloves off and dangly bits out was the key objective. That done, it was sit on your pulk back into the wind and take some drink and food.

The day food packs made up back in Punta were different for each individual but were essentially salami and crackers, nuts/dried fruit trail mix, muesli bars, and high sugar items. I didn’t use chocolate as an energy source so supplemented my intake with extra energy bars and cookies. For day drinks I used 1 x thermos, and 1 x nalgene (approximately 2.2 litres) of water with an electrolyte sachet in each one. Break sessions were usually quiet affairs, sitting on our pulks munching and slurping with the 15 minutes disappearing quickly although everyone looked forward to getting back to hauling as it was surprising how quickly the body core temperature dropped in the short break time, even with big down jackets on. After breaks the body always felt cold for the first 15 – 20 minutes of hauling and often it would take me 30 minutes or so of working the hands before they were  nice and warm again.

Our last stint usually ended around 1700 hours then it was tents up. If you were on cooking duty you were first into the tent to get the cookers going and start making water from snow. Hopefully someone had some water left over from day drinks to get the process going. Cooking was a full-on job with making water for hot drinks, filling all the thermos flasks and nalgene bottles, then dinner, another round of hot drinks and finally some wash water if it was wash night. Washing entailed some hot water in a plastic bag, doubled up to minimize the risk of leakage into the tent, wring the cloth out and clean the body bits that needed cleaning. A quick wipe of the face first seemed like the best idea even though it was the same cloth from the last wash of the dirtier bits.

Drying clothes of perspiration was the next task. On the nights when the sun was shining (I say night but of course it was 24 hour daylight) drying was a simple matter of securing items to the line inside the tent with safety pins and they would be dry by morning. On low light days, it was necessary to bring the cookers from the vestibule into the main tent area which then heated up and dried clothing. I preferred not to use vapour barriers (plastic bags) on my feet which made the feet a whole lot less smelly but required removal of my boot liners each night for drying. Every few days the boot interiors would also need a good de-icing.

We always aimed for a 2130-2200 sleep time but repairs often prevented this. There always seemed to be something that needed sewing repairs from the rigours of the expedition. In the early part of the expedition it was often cold in the tent once the cookers were turned off, but later on in December when the sun inclination was greater it was reasonably warm in the tent when the skies were clear. Sleeping on the sunny side was least favourable in the later weeks as it was often too hot in a minus 40 degree C sleeping bag.

Every 5 days we had a tent rotation where there would be a change between the 3 man and the 2 man tents. Both tents were 3 man Hellibergs. This way each person had time in the more spacious 2 man tent and spent time with all the expedition members.

As we reached each degree of latitude there was a “degree party” which meant Sarah would prepare the evening meal. We all piled into which ever tent Sarah was in and devoured whatever delights she had prepared. These nights which occurred approximately every 5 days also provided an opportunity for the whole team to get together as normally you just kept to your own tent.


Typically I wore one base layer of top and bottom thermals, one pair of ski pants, one pair vapour-therm socks, boots, one vapour-therm top, one breathable anorak fitted with a fur ruff, one fleece neck warmer, one fleece balaclava, one woolen hat, ski goggles and three pairs of gloves (base-intermediate-shell layers). Skis were Fisher 99 cross country skis fitted with full length 25mm skins until 87 degrees of latitude where I changed to half length kicker skins. Body temperature management was a constant process to try and stay warm, but not to perspire. Sounds easy but it needs constant vigilance of environmental changes and work load fluctuations, and preparing for the cooling that happened during the days food-drink stops. Closing up clothing vents was one way of increasing body core temperature in preparation for a stop but that didn’t always work. Hands were my biggest problem and, looking back, good old woolen glove liners would have been a better bet than the various modern synthetic liners I had which caused perspiration which then turned into ice during the stops.


On skis pulling a laden pulk across a frozen continent is not quite an everyday pastime and one went through various thought processes. If a good train of thought presented itself then the hauling stints passed very quickly. If I could not get focused on a subject and the mind just flitted around on no particular thing then time dragged and I simply could not control the process. The mind either focused or it didn’t. When it did then the level of clarity and thinking without any background noises, only the swish of skis and no visual distraction with only white to every horizon, was amazing.

 Depot 1:

Day 16 we arrived at 82.5 degrees South, our first re-supply depot. A small cache of supplies in the middle of nowhere, dropped off by one of the Twin Otters. The modern GPS does make life easy. Next day with thirteen more days of provisions loaded we were off again. No rubbish drop off; everything from the depot must be taken as the Otter does not return. Next way point was the depot at Thiel Mountains.

 Theil Mountains:

Day 29 we arrived at our second depot near Thiel Mountains. Three days prior, the Thiels range had slowly come into view as we hauled towards them. The ranges would completely disappear from view when we went down into dips only to come into full view again as we crested the next rise. The snow/ice covered mountain ranges provided stunning scenery as we approached the depot. Depot is a tad misleading as it was simply a cache of our next 10-days’ supplies and a couple of hundred fuel drums for refueling the Otters going to and from the Pole. Although the mountains are within a day’s hauling the depot is again in the middle of nowhere. However there was a snow hut which enabled going to the toilet out of the wind; sheer luxury. We had an easy day sorting provisions at Thiels and undertaking any necessary repairs and then it was off to do battle with the sastrugi again.

At this stage we had climbed to just over 5000 feet elevation and with the Pole at 9,300’ we still had some ascending to do.

Most of this remaining ascent (500 feet some days) was done in the leg up to our third depot at approx. 87.5 South and the approach to the plateau.. 500 feet doesn’t sound much but made for a solid day’s hauling though the sastrugi were getting smaller, giving smoother terrain.

 Depot 3 & Christmas:

Day 41 we arrived at depot three and the last 15 days’ supplies. From this point we started to experience much less sastrugi and more softer snow which made much easier skiing but increased the friction on the pulks making for more solid hauling. Two days later, at 88 degrees South, we were pretty much on the plateau at 9000’ elevation and essentially a flat run to the Pole. The more even surface but softer snow was now the predominant condition.

Day 45 was Christmas day and what a cracker. Blue skies, light winds and a white Christmas. It just doesn’t get any whiter than this. The typical Kiwi Christmas day is a huge lunch with family and a lazy afternoon.  The salami and crackers even after 45 days still seemed like a tasty Christmas lunch but the lazy afternoon wasn’t available. We still had a few hours of hauling to do. That evening we were all treated to another one of Sarah’s great meals and Kari produced a bottle of cognac. With a few hastily made Christmas decorations hanging in the tent we had a great Christmas atmosphere. Day 48 we reached 89 degrees South so it was time to start using WAG bags issued to us for storing all solid human waste. This is a requirement due to the higher density of human traffic with groups skiing the ‘last degree’. No big deal. Use the bag, let it freeze and stow in your pulk ready for next use. The main down side was that although food and fuel was being consumed daily the pulks were not getting any lighter!!.


From the time we left Hercules Inlet until 88 degrees South (43 days) the terrain was pretty much a common theme; sastrugi, sastrugi and more sastrugi. These are the formations carved out of the ice by the ever-present, predominantly Southerly wind. Smaller sastrugi (150mm high), larger sastrugi (500mm high), sastrugi that tipped pulks over, just sastrugi!! Sometimes we were going down into dips, sometimes we were hauling up out of dips but always over sastrugi.

On clear sky days, visibility was great and larger sastrugi can be easily navigated around but on low light days where cloud cover blocked the sun, navigating the sastrugi was more difficult. In low light conditions, although you can clearly see someone in front of you, all depth perception on the white surface is lost and one generally only knows what the surface is by what their skis are telling them. The loss of definition was high-lighted on those low light days when selecting a tent site. Down on knees checking the surface for flatness thinking you had the perfect site only to find quite a different situation once in the tent.

Weather-wise, we had a dream trip with most days predominantly clear blue skies and therefore sunny. The visuals of rich blue skies against the whiteness of Antarctica were just stunning. Of the 53 days, only about 10 were low light of varying degrees and we only experienced white out (where the horizon is no longer distinguishable) for a few very short periods. We experienced one fantastic day of absolute calm the whole day but generally the winds were 10-15 knots and often 20-30 knots and predominantly southerly. On the higher wind days spin drift was always swirling around creating some stunning visuals but getting into every nook and cranny. During breaks on these days the spin drift would often swirl around your body and get into your face even with your back to the wind.

Temperatures in November were in the -20C to -25C region, though in December -15 to -20C was more common, minus whatever the wind chill for the day was.

The weather on the plateau was quite different to the typically settled patterns of the earlier weeks. Here the weather changed often during the day and hence very quickly between clear skies to low light conditions.

 New Year & The Pole:

Day 51 was New Year’s Eve so all into Sarah’s tent for dinner and some more of Kari’s cognac. The end was now in sight so two good reasons to celebrate.

New Year’s Day was the usual 7 hours hauling and we set up camp with 4.5 nautical miles to run. What a way to start the year!! Rather than pushing on the idea was to arrive at the Pole around noon so we would have the rest of the day to take it all in and enjoy the moment.

January 2nd morning we set off on the final leg and at 11:15 hours Chilean time (0350 hours, 3rd January NZ time) we arrived at the Geographic South Pole after 1170 kms and 53 days from Hercules Inlet. What a great feeling. First stop was the ceremonial barber’s pole with the shiny globe surrounded by the 12 Treaty nations’ flags for group photos. Then 30m across to the actual Geographic Pole marker which is repositioned January 1st each year due to its movement from ice shear during the year. So we were the first expedition to arrive at the new 2009 position. Each year a new figure head for the marker is designed and manufactured by the winter-over staff at the American base.

More group photos, tents up and then we accepted the Base invitation for tea, cookies and a tour of the Base. The new American Base, still under construction, is a very impressive facility which houses approx 300 scientists and support staff during the summer months of October to February and approx 60 personnel during the winter months. Base protocol is that once your tour is over its back outside until your pick up arrives though we were kindly treated to a very comprehensive tour of the Icecube Project.
January 5th an Otter arrived late afternoon to airlift us back to Patriot Hills. Well 3 of us plus the Messner group which had arrived January 3rd as Tom and Sarah were kiting back once their equipment arrived on a later flight. It had been fantastic to have 3 days at the Pole just taking it all in and reflecting on the trip.

Only a four hour flight, with a refueling stop at Thiels, to cover the same ground that had taken us 53 days of hauling.

 The Expedition Group:

A mixed bag from various sections of the globe.  Sarah our guide from Canada, Kari from Norway, Tom from Washington DC, Steve from Australia and myself. Tom Davenport was the stand-out person. Tom, as those of you who followed our progress on his website, suffered from colon cancer in 2006 and overcame serious adversity to not only undertake the full expedition from Hercules Inlet to the Pole but to kite all the way back. As a result of his cancer Tom had to deal with a raft of issues and not once did I hear a grumble from the man about anything for the entire expedition. My hat goes off to you mate. Also, a huge thanks to Sarah for a fantastic job. Sarah, at 24 years of age, has already done a dog sledding expedition to the Geographic North Pole, a 1400 mile crossing of the Greenland Icecap and two expeditions to the Geographic South Pole. Sarah is rapidly filling those huge polar guru shoes of her mum and dad. Also many thanks go to Mike Sharp and his ALE team for running a very slick logistics operation.

 Final Comment:

What a great adventure. The visuals from start to finish are beyond description; simply stunning. Even after days of no landmarks, only a white surface as far as the eye could see in any direction, the sheer beauty of the place was always present and I never tired of looking at it. It is a huge privilege to undertake such an expedition and to have it culminate by standing at the South Pole. One can only hope that this magnificent slice of the earth remains relatively unmarked.

South Pole

15. January 2009

Greetings All

Great to know that many have been following our progress to the Pole. After 53 days of man hauling our expedition arrived at the Geographic South Pole on January 3rd at 0315hrs New Zealand time. What a great feeling!! Thank you for all the support.

After several days of waiting for suitable weather for airlifting out we have just arrived back in Punta Arenas. I will post all the hot details of the expedition in due course.



Punta Arenas

9. November 2008

Hi folks,

 The team is complete, the tasks done and we are ready to go!! The last few days have been hectic in sorting through all equipment, buying all our provisions, packaging provisions, briefings and those last minute panics. Removing all the provision wrappers, cutting into bite sized bits and putting into labelled daily bags was the biggest task and the midnight oil was burning furiously. But with dedication to duty we still squeezed in some good Chilean nosh and local Punta Arenas beers. The weather is forecast to be suitable tomorrow (Sunday 9th) for the huge Russian Ilyushin 76 jet freighter to land at Patriot Hills so we are now just waiting for the call to scramble. Due to some operational issues we are scheduled to camp at Patriot Hills for a few days before we can be air lifted by Twin Otter down to Hercules Inlet. Then the 1170km trek with a great bunch of team mates will begin. American Tom Davenport and Aussie Steve Gates are hoping to be able to relay information by sat phone every few days to their websites which should show our progress. You can access the guys websites via the links on my homepage. Well folks next communication will hopefully be mid January after we have completed the journey to the South Pole.CheersRoss 


4. November 2008

Greetings All

I am now in Punta Arenas, Chile, and over the next couple of days my expedition team mates will arrive.  We are scheduled to fly down to Antarctica on the 8th and I will send out a post giving the latest hot news before we head to the big cold place!!

I would like to take this opportunity to ask you all to make a donation to either of the two worthy charities listed on my webpage. Times are tough with the world financial crisis which makes the work of these organisations even more necessary so if you can spare a few dollars I know they will be extremely grateful.  Click on Charities above and view the easy to follow instructions. Make sure you state ¨Ross´s polar challenges¨ when making your donation so that each organisation can advise us of the total amount of our donations.

Your generosity is appreciated.


The South Pole

17. August 2008

Greetings All,


The next challenge is in motion.

I have joined Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE),  expedition to the South Pole and will meet with the other four expedition members in Punta Arenas, Chile, around the 4th of November.

Kari from Norway, Tom from USA, Steven from Australia, myself and our leader Sarah McNair-Landry will fly as a group from Punta Arenas into ALE’s base at Patriot Hills on the Antarctic Continent and then be air lifted down to Hercules Inlet, our starting point on the Antarctic coast. The 1170km journey then begins. If all goes well we will arrive at the Geographic South Pole approx 60 days later.

So folks, the training continues and lots to get organized. I am extremely grateful to the many who offer assistance in helping me prepare for these adventures and I will cover this more in future postings.

It is good to have a new plan!!

The Polar Challenge

7. May 2008

Greetings all,

What an adventure the last month has been. I assume most have been following the Polar Challenge website and are well up to speed.

After the 5 day ski in from resolute Paul Craig and I lined up on the start line. Under race rules we could not be classified after our 3rd team member Oliver unfortunately had to pull due to personal reasons so our approach was to be safe, have fun and do the best we could without race pressure.

From the start to check point 1 (CP 1) our route selection for the traverse across Bathurst Island made some tough going and we spent two days climbing out of ravines and frozen river beds.

Then came the rubble fields up Dundee Bight and climbing over or around pushed up ice formations for two days.

CP 1 was a welcome 12 hour mandatory rest then it was off for CP 2.

We had thought the rubble fields up Dundee Bight were tough but we were in for a surprise. A whole new meaning to the term “rubble field”

On the 2nd day out from CP 1 I contracted a nasty stomach infection. The symptoms themselves were not an issue but the huge loss of energy for the tough task of pulling a laden sledge through rubble fields was a serious problem. It took almost a day to get sufficient energy reserves to put in a solid days pulling and then the bug struck again. Same process and very frustrating.

With 4 days gone since CP 1 and insufficient ground covered the pressure was on.

Yet more rubble fields, severe white out conditions, bitterly cold winds, and 6 hours of sleep in 59 hours of hard going had us at CP 2.

The elation of having overcome some very difficult situations was quickly dampened when race organisers advised that due to the time lost in getting to CP 2 we needed to be able to guarantee to finish the remaining 63nm sector to the finish in 3 days and 5 hours.

Logistics of air lifting teams out of such a remote location did not allow for additional time so we had to reluctantly accept that our 2008 Polar Challenge was over.

We were then air lifted out of CP 2 with race staff to the finish line. We spent the next two days in our trusty tent at the start line before being air lifted back to Resolute which is where I make this diary entry.

So folks what an adventure.

It has been 20 days in some of the most fascinating, stunningly beautiful and yet hostile environment on this planet. It is such a privilege to have had this experience.

To be skiing in huge frozen river beds, amongst distorted ice rubble, on sea ice that extends to the horizon in all directions is simply amazing. Only you and your team mate in nature’s true wilderness.

For team mates I could not have had a better man than Paul Craig to take on the challenges. Paul was a tower of strength, is one of the old school rock solid guys and will be a friend for life.

At no time did Paul or I ever consider giving in or that we would not beat all the difficulties we faced so it is devastating that we simply did not have sufficient time to complete the race final 63 nm leg which included the 1996 Magnetic North Pole but such is life.

The challenges never beat us, only time did.

I thank all of you who sent messages to the race website which I was able to read at CP 2 and at the finish line. It is warming to have such great friends.

I also thank those who have made donations to the Himalayan Trust and NZ Salvation Army. Please continue to encourage people to make direct donations to these very worthy causes.

For me it is time to take a short break, enjoy the simple luxuries of hot showers and consider the next challenge.



9. April 2008


All competitors are now in Ottawa for the night so good to be catching up with my team mates Paul and Oliver who have just arrived from London. Tomorrow (Wednesday 9th) we fly north to Resolute and the cold stuff. You can track the race on the Polar Challenge website. Click on the North Pole Race link.

The race begins!! Next posting will be on return from the Pole.


1st Posting

1. April 2008

Welcome to my webpage.

This page has been developed so that friends, sponsors and interested parties can follow and participate in my polar challenges. It will also be a valuable tool in my fund raising for the two very worthy causes on the charities page.


Many friends, colleagues and companies have helped me in some way and I am grateful to all.


So how did this all come about?

I happened to be reading a NZ Multisport & Triathlon mag on New Years Eve (yes sad I know) and spotted a small snippet about some race to the South Pole.

Now that’s a plan!!

I whistled an email off to the race website thinking it may be a long shot as I had zero ice experience other than some diving around the Antarctic iceshelf. New Years day 2008 gave a pleasant surprise with a reply from the race organisers advising they would consider my request.

17th January I was on a flight to Norway to take part in an intensive training week in the elements. Follow the link to the race website for more on the Norway training.

Tenting in strong winds in minus 20 conditions was no problem but skiing was as I had never been on skis before. Some teams were already formed and individuals like myself had the task of working in different groups to be able to form teams. Jo Oliver and Gareth Ellis, both of the UK, and I have formed a well balanced team with a very strong focus on being competitive in the race to the South Pole which starts early December.  During the week in Norway I discovered that the organisers also did a race to the North Pole in April 2008 and a couple of teams needed a 3rd person.

Another plan!!

Had to do something about skiing first though so headed for Slovenia where friends helped me get to grips with cross country skiing. Raised a few eyebrows when two weeks later I went on a 6-day 210km cross country ski tour of Slovenia. My technique won’t be used for demonstration purposes but the 210km was done.

Then it was off to the UK for a North Pole training day and to meet my potential team mates. By the end of that weekend I had joined Paul Craig and Oliver Corbett in their very relaxed team The Holiday Club.

Time to get back to NZ and get prepared for the up coming ‘holiday.’

Wasn’t sure where the focus should be in terms of training with such little time remaining so settled for some tyre-pulling around the forest and some long hikes in the bush.

Folks’ reactions to me pulling a car tyre around were entertaining. There were those that went past with dead pan looks refusing to make eye contact in case they might catch whatever disease I had, those that went past grinning without saying a word and then the one-liners….“do you know you’re dragging a tyre” huh??…. “must have been a good crash if that’s all that’s left mate” yeah right…..and those with dogs “we can lend you the dog if you like, but the dogs had the dead pan look.

So folks it’s off to Canada this week for some acclimatisation and then catch up with all the other North Pole competitors in Ottawa on the 8th April.

Hopefully I will be able to post a brief update from Ottawa before we head for the Pole.

Hope you enjoy the webpage.



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