A CHARMOUTH-born adventurer is to take part in one of the most ambitious polar expeditions of all time - to be the first to reach the so-called Northern Pole of Inaccessibility.
Defined as the furthest point from land on the Arctic Ocean, the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility remains the last truly significant place in the Polar region.
It is more than 200 miles further than the Geographic North Pole. The whole journey will be near to 800 miles from the northern shores of Canada and will take in the North Magnetic Pole on route.
Accomplished explorer Jim McNeill has chosen Kip Hansford for the expedition – christened the the Ice Warrior Quest.
To get ready for the trip Kip is undergoing a comprehensive and intensive training programme to take on at least one of four 20 day legs, pushing the route across the Arctic Ocean by approximately 200 miles.
Along the route team members will be gathering crucial data for the scientific community including new and vital data about how the sea ice breaks up, making the whole endeavour a major citizen science project.
Partners include the NASA funded National Snow and Ice Data Centre scientists, The Met Office, The Scott Polar Institute, The Norwegian Polar Institute and the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. This vital data will deliver the reality of climate change and make the whole expedition worthwhile and purposeful.
Kip said: “My work has taken me to many hot and humid countries in African and the Middle East.
“In the last 20 years I have concentrated on building a successful carrier in the construction/ mining industries, but now it’s time to challenge myself in a different way both mentally and physically.
“I enjoy keeping fit and frequently run, walk and cycle. Three years ago I climbed Kilimanjaro and started to get a passion for a new type of challenge..
“I’ve been looking for an expedition to somewhere cold for a couple of years now, something that will fulfil my love for adventure. When I saw the advert for the Pole of Inaccessibility I knew it was for me.
“If I can also do my bit to help the planet with the data we will be collecting then that must also be a good thing.”
Expedition leader and Founder of Ice Warrior, Jim McNeill added: “I’m delighted to have Kip in the expedition team and look forward to training him in every aspect which will make him a competent polar traveller.”