‘Pole To Pole’ Expedition: Renowned Explorer To Circle Entire Globe

Explorer Mike Horn will go the ‘long way’ around the globe, with a longitudinal route tracking meridians across oceans, ice, and land.

Mike horn
Mike Horn is embarking on the world’s first longitudinal circuit of globe; photo by Chris Brinlee, Jr.

Lauded as the greatest explorer of our time, Mike Horn seeks his crowning achievement: Circumnavigating the Earth by sailboat, kayak, and skis, from North Pole to South.

Horn’s journey, dubbed Pole to Pole 360, launches this month and is projected to finish within two years. The trip begins in Europe aboard Horn’s 110-foot sailing vessel, Pangaea, which will carry him south to his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa.

Training for ‘Pole to Pole’

At about 25,000 miles, the expedition will tick through multiple continents, cross almost every land type, and put Horn into environments as diverse as ocean to desert, mountains, to frozen polar expanses.

Pole to Pole 360 Expedition

From South Africa, Pangaea heads for Antarctica, where Horn will disembark and solo ski across the seventh continent to its Pacific Coast. There he will again rendezvous with Pangaea.

The crew will sail north to the Arctic over weeks, then kayak and ski across North America to Greenland, where Pangaea will set sail back to Europe.

Pole to Pole 360 is being positioned as “the greatest exploratory expedition of the 21st century.” While Sir Ranulph Fiennes set off on an expedition in 1979 that followed the Greenwich Meridian and was the first to circumnavigate the globe north to south, his journey spanned nearly three years.

Horn’s continuous, two-year trip is unprecedented in its scope and has never been accomplished, but he has earned a reputation as a conqueror of the improbable: swimming the length of the Amazon River; traveling to the North Pole in the permanent dark of winter; and circling the equator solely on human power.

pangaea sailboat
High above the 100-ft. Pangaea sailing vessel

The north-to-south circumnavigation was originally slated for 2015. But the unexpected passing of Horn’s wife, Cathy, put the expedition on hold.

Horn said the decision to attempt the journey this year, which she helped plan, was to complete it “in her honor.”

–Follow Horn’s journey on his website and on social with the hashtag #Pole2Pole.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.