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Crossing The Arctic Ocean

In August 2019, Mike will finally be undertaking the second and last chapter of his Pole2Pole expedition! After the successful traverse of Antarctica via the South Pole completed in February 2017, Mike is now embarking on his next big adventure to close the circle of his circumnavigation of the globe via both poles!

On the 20thof August, Mike will leave from Nome Alaska after having sailed his exploration vessel Pangaea from Hokkaido in Japan, where it has been on standby during Mike’s K2 expedition in Pakistan.

The small town of Nome located in Alaska, will be the starting point for Mike’s next big challenge: The crossing of the Arctic Ocean via the North Pole. This traverse will be the last leg before Mike makes his way back to Monaco in December of this year to celebrate the end of his Pole2Pole expedition which began in May 2016 in Monaco.

For this upcoming polar crossing, Mike will be accompanied by his good friend and famous Norwegian polar explorer: Borge Ousland, with whom he has already partnered to rally the North Pole during the winter and by night in early 2006.

The Route

In comparison to their previous Arctic adventure, this expedition will be different in many ways. This time, Mike and Borge will venture during the end of the northern hemisphere’s 2019 summer season. They will leave Alaska onboard Pangaea with the hopes of reaching as far as the 85°N latitude before being dropped off on the sea ice to start their traverse on foot and skis. By leaving at this period of the year, the pair of explorers are strategically relying on the fact that the ice will have melted sufficiently after the warm summer, in order to be dropped off at a close enough distance to the Pole. In these conditions, every degree counts. If Pangaea can’t make it as far as 85°N, it will undoubtedly have repercussions on the success of the expedition because it means that the explorers will have to travel a larger distance and as a result, run out of food rations sooner. Time will thus be at the essence for the duo of explorers. They are giving themselves a period of maximum 3 months to undertake the traverse of the frozen Arctic Ocean via the North Pole. Once the crossover completed, Pangaea and its crew will pick them up at the point where the open water meets the sea ice in the region of northern Norway, which should be approximately at the 80°N latitude at that time of the year.

If all goes according to plan and that Pangaea can be sailed as far as 85°N from Alaska, Mike and Borge will jump off the boat and start their expedition. They will have to cover 900 nautical miles on foot and skis (approx. 1666km), across the frozen ocean passing via the North Pole. This distance is calculated without taking into account the unavoidable ice drift, which could double or even triple the overall distance the duo will have to cover to reach the other side.

While Mike and Borge make steady progress across the sea ice, Pangaea and its crew will simultaneously undertake its own adventure. Once the two explorers are dropped off on the ice, Pangaea will make a U-turn and sail around the floating sea ice via the North East Passage (NEP) along the northern Russian coastline until they reach northern Norway. Once in Norway the boat and its crew will be on standby and wait for Mike and Borge to finish their traverse. Once finished, Pangaea will pick the pair up where the sea ice ends, at approximately at 80°N above the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Again, this maneuver will only be possible if the ice has sufficiently melted, otherwise Mike and Borge will have to rely on another solution to return to civilization, such as jumping onboard a polar ice breaker.

 

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The team

Mike Horn

Borge Ousland

Annika Horn

Laure Berthoneau

Laure joined the team 5 years ago. Laure met Mike in Switzerland when he first set foot in one of the local restaurants in Chateau d’Oex where she was working as a waitress. She joined the crew five years ago and has been taking care of Pangaea ever since. Throughout the Pole2Pole Expedition, she keeps the boat well organized and the team well feed. We are very lucky to have Laure on the boat. It is always necessary to have a woman part of the crew to keep the men in check.

Jacek Proniewicz

Jacek is the engineer of the boat and has been a part of the team for over 10 years. Nobody knows the boat as well as Jacek does. Throughout the Pangaea expedition and now the Pole2Pole expedition, Jacek makes sure that everything is running smoothly to take Mike to his next destination. “We don’t always work with each other, we have also become very close friends over the years. He is someone I trust completely! I feel extremely privileged to have him on my team and in my life,” says Mike.

Bernard Stamm

Bernard is a renowned Swiss sailor who Mike met in Switzerland over 20 years ago. Ever since their first encounter, Mike admired him for his drive and his passion for sailing. Bernard participated in many international races, some of which he won, setting numerous sailing records throughout his career. Once Borge and Mike jump of the boat, Bernard will be skippering the boat through the North East passage all the way to Norway. This expedition is not the first time Mike trust Bernard with one of his boats in Polar regions. In 2003, during the Arktos expedition, Bernard skippered the 28-foot trimaran from Kirkenes in Norwary to Topseda in Russia.<br /> We are very privileged to have him on part for the expedition.

Sebastian Gericke

Sebastian's love for the outdoors started while growing up between the shores and wilderness of Zululand, South Africa. He graduated with a B Commerce Accounting degree from the University of Stellenbosch and spent the past 5 years working in the world of finance, whilst using any of his spare time surfing, snowboarding, sailing or fishing. An avid sportsman, an inquisitive mind and an insatiable sense of adventure has led Sebas to volunteer as crew on Pangaea since the start of 2019.

Felix Hsu

Felix is a German-Chinese engineer and sailor living in Munich, Germany. He sailed the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean to Antarctica with Mike and skied to the Magnetic North Pole as part of the Pangaea expedition. Currently pursuing his Master's in Aerospace Engineering in Munich, his goal is to develop innovative future technologies and push the limits of the possible. As crew member of Pangaea, he will ensure the performance and safety of the boat under all conditions.

Etienne Claret

Etienne started creating photos & videos 6 years ago. At the age of 20, his passion has only been growing. Transmitting emotions through visuals is not easy, but amazing when well done. He does so through photography or by mixing powerful videos together with aerial content and a dynamic-editing-style. Traveler at heart, Etienne is always down to discover new cultures and adventures and shares it through visuals. Since 2015, he work as a freelancer in the tourism & sport industries. We have always been impressed with Etienne’s talent at creating a strong impact through his visuals storytelling.

Santino Martirano

Adventure photographer and producer at Roam Media, has traveled the world to capture some of the most untamed and captivating landscapes. His goal is to share his travels in the hopes of inspiring others to push their boundaries and adventure to the unknown. When he’s not climbing or scaling the Dolomites, Santino spends his time in Boulder CO where he produces campaigns and films for world renowned athletes and explorers. Santino is “super stoked and honored” to document and support Mike Horn and Borge Ousland’s North Pole Crossing 2019 with ROAM Media.

Ary Hipolito

23 year old Ary is a Swiss and Portuguese freelance filmmaker who loves creating strong emotions trough each of his videos. Throughout Ary’s carrier he’s had the chance to work with multiples institutions like Swiss Basketball, Glion Institute of Higher Education and EHL (École Hôtelière de Lausanne). In addition, Ary created many film-documentaries starring great athletes like Breel Embolo, Clint Capela, Volkan Oezdemir and Jack Wilshere.

Stein Retzlaff

Stein is an adventurer, photographer, and storyteller dedicated to sharing inspiring stories around expeditions with purpose. He specializes in sharing LIVE expedition stories through innovative satellite technologies and compression softwares. He has produced global stories for ROAM Media, SeaLegacy, National Geographic, Snapchat, Instagram, and more while working in remote environments around the World including Antarctica, the Arctic, the Amazon and many places in between. Stein is excited and honored to document and support Mike Horn and Borge Ousland’s North Pole Crossing 2019 with ROAM Media.

North Pole 2006

This expedition can be remembered and compared to as one of the greatest moments in Arctic history. In 1909, Robert Edwin Peary was the first man to travel from Ellesmere Island to the North Pole in the spring with the aid of dogs and Eskimos. Now in 2006, Mike Horn and Borge Ousland have created new history in polar exploring. On the 23rdof March ‘06, they successfully completed an expedition traveling 60days and 5 hours on skis in the dark Arctic winter from Russia to the North Pole. Never before has an expedition like this been attempted nor has it ever entered into the minds of Arctic explorers because of the many dangers and obstacles it represents. Virtually everyday during their trek, Mike and Borge were faced with challenges such as open water or leads, extremely poor visibility in 24hr darkness, harsh arctic  temperatures of –30°C to – 50°C, southerly ice drift and many encounters with polar bears. The experience and knowledge of these two great Arctic explorers and the combination of complicity and will-power, made Mike and Borge an excellent team which lead to the success of this expedition.