Month: January 2009

Mike Returns to Punta Arenas

In a few days Mike will meet up with the boat, reunited once again with the crew who have been busy the last two months with renovation and general maintenance.
Mike, boat and crew are now getting ready for the next phase of the expedition – New Zealand!

Day 59 Trek to the South Pole

A twin otter will be coming to pick me up in two hours time and will take me to Patriot Hills. I kited 200kms yesterday but am still 480kms away. Patriot Hills is closing up and I will be on the last flight out to Punta Arenas. The flight leaving Antarctica might even be this evening.

This will be my last breakfast in the tent. I feel a little sad it's over but extremely happy with my Antarctic experience.

It was tough hauling my heavy sled but this was a great personal challenge for me.

I enjoyed the South Pole expedition. I marvel each day at its beauty and mysteriousness. As an explorer, I continue to compare the North Pole with the South Pole. The North Pole was definitely more of a challenge due to the open water and polar bears, whereas the South Pole more enriched with wildlife and history with its many relics of the past explorers.

What struck me the most about the South Pole was the thickness of the ice. When we walk on the ice cap we are on 3 kilometers of ice. I understand more the effects of global warming and the consequences to the rest of the world if the Antarctic ice melts. We have an important duty to preserve the poles and I hope that by sharing these emotions with Clémence and Nicolas and the other YEP's, we can start to stress this point to the people who can make a difference – the younger generation!"

Best regards,


Day 58 Trek to the South Pole

"The only piece of equipment that I didn't bring a replacement off because I was assured they would never break! I repaired it the best I could but each big bump I went over my ski fell off. I am now travelling downhill and pick up great speed. Falling is not so great when you're moving at 40 kms/hr!! The next thing of course, my sled would follow and hit me from behind at huge speeds and the cords of my kite would end up all tangled again.

The 7sqm kite that Daniel from Pleinair gave to me is fantastic and a pleasure to use. I'm really enjoying myself.

After all the struggling yesterday, I managed to do 85kms and am now at 86°34'S and 82°53'W.

I'm getting closer to Patriots. They don't seem to want to take me off the ice yet so I will keep on enjoying myself while I can!"

Day 57 Trek to the South Pole

Next thing I would need to untangle the cords, change the kite again, etc… The entire day continued like this and after 15hrs of hard slog I only managed to do only 43 kms!

I can feel that the summer is coming to an end as there is less heat in the sun. As for me, I keep myself warm when I kite by wearing my down trousers, jacket and big mitts. My face is protected from the wind so I can feel the frostbite on my chin and lips is slowly improving.

In a few more weeks the sun will start setting and the Antarctic bases will be closed. After speaking with Patriot Hills it seems that they will let me stay a few extra days on the ice. It would be great if I can get to Patriot Hills within this time.

Today the winds seem to be stable but are more Easterly than Southerly. It may be difficult for me to move with the kite but I'll give it all I've got!"

Day 56 Trek to the South Pole

It was after 10 hours or so that the ice became more uneven and the sastrugi's started appearing. I needed to change my kite to a smaller, slower one. With the slower kite I was travelling about 10kms an hour and after 13-14 hours of kiting I stopped at 87°45 S and 82°27 W. I had done 220 kms so I was feeling pretty proud of myself!!!

Now I've had a few hours sleep and am ready to start a second day of kiting. I wonder if I didn't stop in a sheltered spot because there doesn't seem to be any wind where I am. I'll try and move and see if I cannot get the wind back in my sails again. Regards to you all."


Day 54 Trek to the South Pole

"The kite is ready and so am I! I'll try and kite as far as possible today. I've been looking forward to this for so long now that I hope I won't be disappointed. If weather predictions are good, I'll have two good days of kiting. It won't be enough for get me to Patriot Hills but I'll try and get as close as possible."

Good luck Mike!

Day 53 Trek to the South Pole

The last news I had from Patriot Hills is that they are breaking up camp now as it is the end of the summer season.

If everything goes according to schedule I will be picked up on the 26th of January and will fly back to Chile on the 27th.

I feel frustrated because I have been in the tent for 2 days now. I was so looking forward to the kite trip back to Patriot Hills and to slide over the snow at a greater speed than I did on my way to the Pole. Unfortunately I am unable to change the weather or the date so will have to accept things the way they are.

I feel robbed from my pleasure but at the same time I have had a great experience in Antarctica. It was wonderful to walk the last degree with Borge, Clémence and Nicolas and of course to meet with Prince Albert.

I am sending you four pictures today. The first is of my kite under the snow, ready to go as soon as the wind will change with my tent in the back ground. I have 40 meter lines and to save time I leave them unrolled ready to go. The second photo is of me getting into the tent yesterday with some red ice cristals on my lip. It might look nasty but it is not bad at all. The third photo is the' tell tail' on my ski pole showing it is a sunny day with absolutely no wind. The last photo is 'canell' that Prince Albert gave me to add to my oatmeal. It is supposed to help your blood curculation in the cold. Well at least, that is what his doctor told him!

Best regards from the sitting duck in the tent!

Day 52 Trek to the South Pole

Mike calls from 89°37.611S 90°57.004W.

Now it is snowing hard and there is a thick layer of fresh snow on the ground. This is a good point for me however as it makes the kiting smoother and less hard on my body. I just have to wait for the wind direction to change to a Southeasterly rather than a Northeasterly and then I will be able to get my kites out again. The wind should turn on Saturday and is predicted to be in my favour for two days. I doubt that it will be enough as I must be in Patriot Hills for the 27th but I'll give it all I can!"

In the meantime all our YEP have now left Château-d'Oex and are returning to their respective homes all around the world.
It was a wonderful 10 days we have had in their company. Things will seem a little quiet in our offices for the next weeks as we sift through the load of photos and film that we took and we remember the amazing time we had!

2nd Young Explorers Selection Camp

It was a wonderful 10 days we have had in their company. Things will seem a little quiet in our offices for the next weeks as we sift through the load of photos and film that we took and we remember the amazing time we had!

2nd Young Explorers Selection Camp

The aim of this new expedition of Mike Horn, a four year expedition around the world by sea and land, is to reunite the continents with an important environmental message. Using young adults from all corners of the planet, Pangaea’s Expedition message will be relayed around the entire world.

Sixteen young adults have participated in the second YEP selection camp in Château d’Oex, Switzerland. Eight of these 16 candidates were selected by the Mike Horn Team, and their decisions were based on the feedback from the guides and speakers who participated in the camp, as well as the results from the different physical and mental tests done with the specialists from the Mayo Clinic.

These Pangaea ambassadors are ready to live a unique and important experience in the heart of the nature. They will open new boundaries, and discover the world in which they live, with the aim of finding solutions to actively preserve the planet for the future generations.

The eight young adults selected are :

Alisa Baranskaya, 20yrs, Russia
Zofia Drapella, 17yrs, Polond
Raphael Gabella, 19yrs, Switzerland
Jun Lee, 17yrs, China
Andrew Lynch, 18yrs, USA
Daniel Maidment, 14yrs, South Africa
Simon Straetker, 15yrs, Germany
Annelies Vanherck, 16yrs, Belgium

These young explorers will join Mike Horn in the Fjords of the South Island of New Zealand. Onboard Pangaea, they will study different subjects, such as the salinity and the temperature of water, as well as the marine biodiversity and the different groups of dolphins that inhabit the region. They will trek for several days through the native bush of the National Forest and discover the local culture through the meetings with the Maoris.

This trip will complement the studies about New Zealand, its culture, climate, geopgraphy and biodiversity, that they had with Dr. Roswitha Stolz from the University of Munich, and other presentations concerning the environment, sustainability, latest technologies, physical training and communication.

The eight selected are now ready to engage themselves in the mission that lies ahead of them and to transmit their experience to the rest of the world.

The Mike Horn Team is thrilled at the outcome of the second camp : Martin Horn reports, « We have spent 10 fantastic days with a team of motivated and enthusiastic young adults. Our primary objective is to find true ambassadors who will transmit the message of the Pangaea Expedition to the entire world. We congratulate all our young explorers for their energy and engagement.”

Mike is in a constant state of travel and adventure , so keep up to date on all his expeditions !