Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen Successfully Reaches North Pole After 480-Mile Unsupported Traverse Across Arctic Ocean

Author:
Updated:
Original:

(Boulder, Colo. – May 6, 2014) – On Tuesday May 6th, 2014 at approximately 9pm MDT, Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters reached the geographic North Pole, completing their unsupported and unaided Last North expedition in just 53 days. In doing so, they were the only team attempting a “land to Pole” crossing to reach the North Pole this season, and the only team since 2010 to accomplish this feat. They are only the second American team in history to complete the crossing, following John Huston and Tyler Fish's 55-day journey in 2009. 

Larsen, an accomplished polar adventurer who in 2010 was the first person in history to successfully complete expeditions to the South Pole, North Pole and the summit of Mount Everest in a continuous 365-day period, described it as “one of the most difficult expeditions” he has undertaken. Larsen and Waters travelled across the 480-mile stretch of shifting sea ice using skis, snowshoes, and at times, swimming through open water sections. 

“You know an expedition is tough when getting stalked by polar bears – who are known to actively seek humans and attack them when hungry– is the least of your worries,” Larsen said by way of an Iridium satellite phone, just minutes after reaching the Pole. The duo did not receive any outside assistance or supplies during their 53-day journey, hauling all of their food and equipment in lightweight Kevlar sleds - which weighed 325 pounds at the start - that were 'rafted' together for larger open water crossings. On one occasion, Larsen and Waters were followed by two polar bears that came within 15 feet of their sleds. The team also dealt with unusually thin ice, soft slush-like snow, severe windstorms, pressure ridges, and moving ice that pushed them backwards.

“While we were excited to reach the pole, it is disheartening to think that this may be the last time that this style of expedition is possible, due to changing ice conditions and a shrinking logistics window,” said Larsen.

With six major polar expeditions under his belt, Larsen’s overall mission is to connect people to the planet’s last great frozen places and to raise awareness around the environmental issues that are impacting them. Expedition followers around the world were able to follow the team’s progress on Larsen’s website (www.ericlarsenexplore.com), as Larsen and Waters used real-time GPS tracking and two-way messaging via DeLorme's inReach SE satellite communicator. Daily audio podcasts, blog posts, social media content, and photos were transmitted using the Iridium satellite network. Additionally, Animal Planet will be producing and airing a special program on Last North, integrating Larsen’s footage from the ice and documenting the team’s arduous journey. The special is slated to air in 2015.

Larsen is partnered with Protect our Winters, whose mission is to unite and actively engage the global snow sports community to lead the fight against climate change and

Climate Reality Project, an organization founded and chaired by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, which is dedicated to unleashing a global cultural movement demanding action on the climate crisis. 

"I have seen firsthand the effects of global warming on the Arctic pack ice,” Larsen said. “The statistics are undeniable: over the past seven years, the Arctic Ocean has seen a steady and significant reduction of sea ice and is becoming significantly less stable with each passing year.” Larsen continued, “Right now, a major initiative for the Climate Reality Project is to rally citizens to support the EPA's proposed rule to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. My goal is to rally everyone I can reach to get behind this movement and support legislation that helps ensure a cleaner, safer, and healthier future.”

The Last North expedition was sponsored by DeLorme and Mountain Safety Research with major support from Microsoft Windows, Granite Gear, Wigwam, Yaktrax, Stanley, and SMAK Strategies. Additional expedition support was provided by Ergodyne, Hilleberg, Potable Aqua, Helly Hansen, Epic Bar, Skratch Labs, Princeton TecClif Bar,Bergans, Optic Nerve, Asnes, Mountain House, Therm-a-Rest, Thule, Iridium, Merrell, Goal Zero, Action Wipes, Coleman First Aid Kits, Wenger, Scarpa, NEMO, Sony, WebExpeditions, Scream Agency, Be Media House, and Yonder

Media Contacts:

Maria Hennessey, SMAK Strategies, 303.859.3317, maria@smakstrategies.com

 ###

Related

MSR®-Sponsored Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen Reaches North Pole After 480-Mile Unsupported Traverse Across Arctic Ocean

On May 6, 2014 at 9 p.m. MDT, MSR-sponsored athlete Eric Larsen reached the geographic North Pole with expedition partner, Ryan Waters, completing their unsupported and unaided Last North expedition in just 53 days. The pair became the first team since 2010 to accomplish a ‘land ...read more

EricLarsen

Allied Feather & Down is Proud Sponsor of Polar Explorer Eric Larsen

Montebello, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2014)--Allied Feather & Down, the leading supplier and processor of down in the outdoor and apparel industry, is proud to announce its partnership with polar explorer, educator and expedition guide, Eric Larsen. He has spent the past 20 years traveling ...read more

granite gear logo

Granite Gear Supports Polar Explorer Eric Larsen in North Pole Expedition

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 ...read more

CANON3_4_low

Eric Larsen Braved the Harshest Conditions on Earth in NEMO’s Canon™ -40 Bag

NEMO is proud to have supported Eric Larsen as he attempted to achieve another world record by traversing the Arctic Ocean from Northern Ellesmere Island to the geographic North Pole. For the expedition, he enlisted NEMO’s Canon™ -40 to keep him warm in some of the world’s ...read more

Wigwam Becomes Official Sock of Eric Larsen & the Last North Expedition

Sheboygan, WI, USA, March 14, 2014 – Wigwam is excited to announce its official sponsorship with well-known polar explorer, Eric Larsen.“When it comes to athlete sponsorships, we are not only looking for individuals that are passionate about the outdoors and love the Wigwam ...read more

ericlarsen

MSR®-Sponsored Polar Adventurers Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters Head to the North Pole for ‘Last North’ Expedition

MSR®-sponsored polar explorers Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters depart Boulder, Colorado today for Northern Ellesmere Island—the starting point of what will likely be the world’s last unsupported ground expedition to the geographic North Pole. The pair aims to break the 2006 ...read more

Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen Bicycling to the Geographic South Pole

On December 12, Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen will attempt to conquer a new feat: biking to the South Pole. His expedition, Cycle South, will be a world-first bicycle journey across the Antarctic continent to the South Pole. Covering nearly 750 miles, the route will traverse from ...read more

1000leagues1

Rudy Project Supports First-Ever American Pair to Row 1,000 Leagues Across the North Atlantic Ocean

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Denver, CO - Rudy Project, Italian manufacturers of award-winning sunglasses, prescription eyewear and helmets, have partnered with James Caple and Cindy Way in their attempt to become the first-ever American pair to row successfully from Cape Cod, ...read more

LastSouth_ELProfile (1)

Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen Looks to Break World Speed Record in his Upcoming 700-Mile Solo Ski Expedition in Antarctica

On Friday November 23rd, Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen will set out on his “Last South” expedition in Antarctica, in what he hopes will be a history making trip. Larsen is attempting to set a new speed record for the solo, unsupported ski trek to the South Pole, a 700-mile ...read more