NORTH POLE

JASON FOX


MISSION

In April 2018, a team of ten adventurers embarked on an expedition to the North Pole.  They made this journey in aid of Borne to raise awareness of premature birth, and £750,000 for new research in to its prevention.

They walked for 8 hours daily across constantly moving ice, pulling a 60kg sledge with everything they needed to survive. They crossed pans of ice and navigated through open leads, rubbles and ridges. They faced temperatures between -30°C and -45°C. Totally self sufficient, braving ferocious weather and possible encounters with polar bears…..

Polar explorers on the mission included: Alan Chambers MBE, Alex Kroner, Dean Mumm, Georgie Breitmeyer, Jason Fox, Joey Worldige, Julian Mylchreest, Neil Counihan, Uzi Yemin, Wayne Hoyle, Will Greenwood MBE


This expedition demonstrates what hard work and commitment to a unified cause can really achieve. Endeavour Through Adversity
ThruDark

ADVANCE PARTY

Fri 13th April: The advance party heads out

Expedition leader and polar explorer Alan Chambers sets off for Longyearbyen in the Svalbard with former Special Forces operator Jason Fox and Borne Chairman Julian Mylchreest to get a head start on preparations before the main contingent arrives.

Longyearbyen is a small town on the Norwegian Archipelago of Svalbard, well above the Arctic Circle there at 78 degrees north. The team will convene here over the weekend, complete their trek preparations and practice session with the sledges and camping equipment on the glacier before being airlifted to the Arctic Ocean.


LONGYEARBYEN

Sat 14th April: Arrival at Longyearbyen

The expedition team arrived in the Svalbard late today. Many met for the first time at the airport, and will get to know one another over dinner. They will be up early tomorrow, ready for a full day’s training in the Norwegian wilderness. For some, it will be their first time walking on skis, pulling a 40-60kg sledge!


SVALBARD

Sun 15th April: Training in the Svalbard

A very busy day today getting ready for the expedition. Packing. Repacking. Ski, tent and sledge packing demonstrations.

The rule is “if you pack it, you drag it” so a few selective choices today about what goes and what stays. The polar bear trip wire is definitely going. The meals are in packets. Just add melted snow. The team are going to enjoy their dinner this evening.

Last night, minke whale and reindeer stew were on the menu. Sledges were loaded onto the aeroplane at 8pm ready for a 9am departure in the morning. Their watches are set on Central European Time.


DESTINATION BARNEO

Mon AM 16th April: Destination Barneo

The team fly out of Longyearbyen early this morning, a day ahead of schedule, to make their way to Barneo Ice Camp. Based approximately 60 miles from the North Pole, the Camp is set up for one month of the year in April. From there, the team will be airlifted by helicopter and dropped off at the start point. They will set off from there, walking in temperatures averaging –25°C, and fighting off icy winds, before setting up camp in the frozen Arctic for the first time.

Mon PM 16th April: First Night

After a two and a half hour flight on an Antonov we land on a runway of sea ice at Camp Barneo, that was set up only days earlier. There, we attend a safety briefing, collect 40 litres of fuel for our stoves, then ride a Russian helicopter across the frozen Arctic to our launch point. It’s a white desert below us.

 


ON THE ICE

Tues 17th April: First Full Day on Ice

The ice drifted 2 miles overnight and the group covered 8.8 miles. Spirits are high. Somewhere between 89 and 90 degrees North.

We had 4 x 90 minute walks planned, with 20 minute breaks, and we allowed for the occasional 5 minute crevasse crossing.

We had another first : ice boulders too big to cross with skis. Off came the boots. We had to drag our sleds by hand with our skis strapped to our sleds.

Two sets of broken skis – Will’s and Jason’s. Fixed and changed on the go.There was no question that fatigue set in later in the afternoon. Bodies got cold quicker, rests were stretched a little, less food consumed.

And then at 18:00, Wayne, our afternoon leader, dropped his harness and signalled that the day was done. No more walking but it was back to work… tents to put up, cold to beat, food to cook, legs to rest. Battered but proud.


PROGRESS

Weds 18th April: Making good time

The ice drifted a further 3 miles overnight setting them 18.6 miles from the Pole at the start of the day. This evening’s blog is posted by the Arctic Fox himself:

“Another great day though fatigue is starting to take its toll on the team. The temperature has been a consistent -30ºC and there is no escape from the cold. Thankfully, there have been plenty of funny moments with Uzi in the lead as our Head of Morale. His humour is pure genius.”


TOP OF THE WORLD

Thurs 19th April: Top of the world

The team trekked with determination and arrived at the North Pole at 17:00 hours. A fantastic achievement in very arduous conditions.

Borne Charity …

Borne is a medical research charity that aims to identify the causes of premature birth. Find out more www.borne.org.uk

Jason Fox …

www.jasonfoxofficial.com


The ThruDark SF Expedition Parka performed above and beyond my highest expectations. I have worked and operated in some of the world’s most inhospitable places and clothing is something I understand in great detail. The jacket features some high technical specifications and everything you could possibley require in extreme cold weather. The lads at ThruDark have clearly put a lot of thought and experience into the development. Quite simply put, the best jacket I have ever owned.
'Foxy'