For the first time in known history, a human being has sailed the seas, trekked the jungles, and skied both poles to circumnavigate the entire globe north to south, and back north.
The man who has perhaps seen more of Earth than any human alive just completed what might be one of the greatest expeditions ever attempted.
Last week, renowned explorer Mike Horn completed his epic 3-year Pole2Pole voyage, traversing the entire globe longitudinally. That included two pole crossings, one of which saw Horn become the first person to ski across Antarctica at its widest point unsupported.
The 53-year-old South African even added a stop in Pakistan to Summit K2 along the way.
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Expedition Update 45: We made it!!! We made it to Lance with our last day of food ration. It was an amazing arrival! From far we could see the lights of Lance and as we were skiing towards it, the lights got bigger and bigger and eventually we just stepped off the ice and onto it boat and the rest was history! The last 12 km were tough, we were doing about 2-3km/hour. We were really moving at a slow pace but remaining constant. Eventually when we managed to get onto boat, and all of a sudden we felt totally relaxed. We were welcomed with a great meal of spinach soup, steak and chocolate fondant and ice cream. Just an amazing welcome! We are feeling exhausted and very tired mentally and physically right now. But as we stepped onto the boat, our bodies could switch off survival mode and we were relieved of all stress. After eating we took a long shower and the hot water against our skin felt incredible! We are now going to sleep well and rest while we make our way back to Norway. As for Lance, we are currently stuck in the ice but trying to make our way out of it! And once we get out, we will be heading south and meeting up with Pangaea in a matter of days! photo: Jørgen Braastad/copyright VG» #vgnett #paneraiheroes #MB #swiza #crosscall #speedcast
Horn finished the Pole2Pole journey with his friend Borge Ousland, a famous Norwegian polar explorer. The duo crossed the Arctic via the North Pole, completing approximately 900 nautical miles by ski and foot.
“We made it!!!” Horn wrote announcing the completion of his journey on Sunday. “We are feeling exhausted and very tired mentally and physically right now. But as we stepped onto the boat, our bodies could switch off survival mode and we were relieved of all stress.”
Mike Horn Pole2Pole Expedition
In April 2016, professional adventurer and world-renowned explorer Mike Horn introduced us to Pole2Pole, a north-to-south-to-north circumnavigation of the entire planet. Horn’s journey spanned 24,000 miles by vehicle, sailboat, kayak, skis, and on foot.
His idea is crazy by many measures. So some consider it to be among the greatest expeditions of all time.
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#MikesDailyThoughts: It is safe to say, that at this stage of the expedition @BorgeOusland and I have both entered into survival mode. This got me thinking about survival and the strange behavioural pattern it triggers, which is something I realized we know and hear little about. I have observed that between Borge and I, conversations have decreased while actions have increased, which is a subconscious way for us to save all the energy we can. I have even noticed that the way we look at things has changed; we no longer admire the beauty around us, we only use our eyes to anticipate our next step and spot potential risks or threats. Here in the Arctic, we are connected to nature in way that I will never be back home. After spending 20 days in this harsh environment, I have grown sensitive to my surroundings to the point where I can now feel one degree drop in the temperature. I can also sense the speed of the wind, as well as its direction, with my eyes closed, just by the way it blows against me. I can predict the thickness of the ice by looking at it and by hearing the sound it makes when I ski over it. Here, in the Arctic, I have developed the instinct of an animal, whose one purpose is to survive. Throughout my years of exploration, my mental strength has overcome my physical strength to such an extent where I can now trust it without even having to question it. Without the power of the mind, I would have never achieved most of the things I have in my life – it is my secret tool, and the best part is that it can become yours too if it isn’t already!
Much of the journey took place aboard Horn’s sailing ship, Pangea. The vessel dropped and retrieved Horn at both of his polar crossings.
His trek even included a record-setting ski traverse of Antarctica. Horn successfully navigated to and from the southern Pole of Inaccessibility, the most difficult-to-reach point on the most inhospitable continent.
He did the crossing unsupported, carrying all his gear alone in one of the harshest places on the planet. While he was on foot, his crew sailed his vessel to rendezvous points, conducting marine research along the way.
Perhaps best of all, Horn chronicled the entirety of his adventure on Instagram — complete with inspirational quotes and sights many will never see firsthand.
Congrats to Mike Horn on one of the greatest adventures in history. Get some rest!