Two Harbors, MN - Beginning this month, Granite Gear will support Eric Larsen and team member Ryan Waters in their feat to traverse across the Arctic Ocean from Northern Ellesmere Island to geographic North Pole – an expedition dubbed Last North. Granite Gear will outfit the team with technical packs and travel gear they need to cover the nearly 500-mile distance in less than 49 days. If they accomplish this goal, they would break the current expedition speed record set by a Norwegian team in 2006.
As an unsupported expedition, the team will not receive any outside assistance or supplies during their journey, which forces them to they rely heavily on durable and sustainable gear. Working closely with the Last North team, Granite Gear has created a custom-made sled cover for the expedition and will also provide them with a wide array of ultralight, organizational and waterproof sacks, blocks and coolers to ensure their food, camera and accessories, and other gear remain untouched by the harsh elements.
Larsen and his team are not just focused on setting a new world record. “More important is the fact that this may realistically be the last opportunity anyone has to complete a journey of this type, in this region,” said Larsen, from his expedition headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. “Global warming is causing dramatic changes in the Arctic pack ice. Ice is melting at historically high rates and is becoming significantly less stable with each passing year. These conditions will make expeditions in this area impossible to complete in the very near future.”
"Eric Larsen is bringing awareness to the fact that global warming is causing dramatic changes in one of the most sensitive landscapes in the world," says Rob Coughlin, VP of Sales and Product Development at Granite Gear. "We’re excited that through our gear, we can help him spread the word and accomplish his goals.”
Minute by minute progress updates will be available through Larsen's website. Visit www.ericlarsenexplore.com to follow the team’s progress, view photo streams, tweets, podcasts, and daily blog posts.
Granite Gear is experienced in developing ingenious polar-specific, arctic-ready gear, and has supported Larsen on five previous expeditions, including trips to the South Pole and the summit of Mount Everest in a continuous 365-day period.
About Granite Gear
For 27 independent years, Granite Gear has brought cutting-edge products to the outdoor marketplace. Their award-winning backpacks, extensive variety of storage sacks, lifestyle accessories, dog products and canoe gear offer excellence in design and construction. Granite Gear’s desire is for all outdoor enthusiasts and travelers to experience the incredible durability and comfort of their products. Located in Northern Minnesota, just minutes from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Superior Hiking Trail, they have a rugged and beautiful testing ground for their products.
About Last North
The Last North expedition is sponsored by DeLorme with major support from MSR, Goal Zero, Stanley, Optic Nerve, Space 2 Burn, and SMAK Strategies. Additional expedition support is provided by Ergodyne, Bergans, Asnes, Yaktrax, Clif Bar, Vapur, Granite Gear, Mountain House, Hilleberg, Therm-a-Rest, Thule, Iridium, Wigwam, Action Wipes, Princeton Tec, Skratch Labs, Terramar, Potable Aqua, Coleman First Aid Kits, WebExpeditions and Scream Agency. Eric is actively seeking additional sponsorships.