Two years to go!

Posted: March 1, 2012 by Ben Weber in English, The Journey
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Yes, two years from now to the day and we will be leaving São Paulo on this epic adventure!

As the ideas behind this expedition built up over the last few years and turned themselves from loosely connected thoughts into a cohesive and surprisingly realistic and achievable plan, it felt like one of those moments in cartoons where light bulbs go off above someone’s head, and there is that ding sound. In spite of the time it took, developing the plan was, however, the easy part and putting it all in practice and making it a success is hard.

Well, the first three months have gone by pretty quickly. We have already accomplished a lot though we have not even started the most serious preparatory work with this project.

We have found our third team member, Norm, who will be the first US national to do the polar axis circle and will be fantastic in filming the project.

Training has begun in earnest – we are now all working hard in our physical fitness and our technical skills (and actually getting pretty good at the intermediate walls – actually racing each other on them now and getting some decent times…);

Norm went through the Catskills along the Devil’s path in a treacherous hike, and soon will be going on nice 300km cycle ride, whilst Natalia and I have been concentrating on our climbing and endurance at the gym and on the rocks, and our first major training expedition in Bolivia is fast approaching. On Monday, we will start working with Fabio, a climber and personal trainer, to help further with our climbing skills and fitness levels and also our psychological preparation.

We are all working on our diets with a nutritionist in order to make sure we are in good enough shape to be able to go through the Poles where we will lose from 5,000 to 7,000 calories per day (and only be able to eat around 4,000 calories worth) for around 70 days at each pole. At the same time, we will need to be in conditions for travel through tropical forests and cycling massive distances, and with this, diet is just about as important as the actual training.

At the same time, there are still important questions to resolve. We are very close to confirming our charities (I know, I know, we have been saying this for a while, but we are!). Logistics will need to be sorted with our equipment drop-off and pickup points around the world; and details about exactly how we will traverse from Canada over to Greenland and the North Pole need to be confirmed – the distances involved are just massive, and these distances are magnified by the cold conditions. We are also looking to confirm details about reaching Antarctica: we aim to be as carbon neutral as possible with this project, and really do not want to use air transport in any way at all, so we are speaking with people about sailing to and from the continent – something that would be just amazing. And finally, there is the small matter of sponsorship…

So yes, lots going on and lots to do, and plenty of updates to come!

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