Last April, professional adventurer and world-renowned explorer Mike Horn introduced us to Pole2Pole, a north-to-south-to-north circumnavigation of the entire planet. Horn is now nine months into his two-year, 24,000-mile journey by vehicle, sailboat, kayak, skis, and on foot. His idea is crazy by many measures. So it’s been considered by some to be among the greatest expeditions of all time.
This week, he completed an extremely difficult leg of the trek: A ski-crossing of Antarctica. He successfully navigated to and from the southern Pole of Inaccessibility, the most difficult-to-reach point on the most inhospitable continent.
He did the crossing unsupported, carrying all his gear, alone, on one of the harshest places on the planet. While on foot, his crew sails his vessel to rendezvous points, conducting marine research along the way.
Since his launch in May, Horn has Instagrammed his progress. From Monaco, across the Atlantic Ocean to South Africa, and through Antarctica, his posts offer a rare peek into an amazing journey. You can follow along as his journey turns northward toward an eventual date with the North Pole before turning homeward.
Pole 2 Pole In Pictures
In an era where athletes and thrill-seekers embark on increasingly dangerous and extreme campaigns for acclaim, Horn is a throwback. He is a jack of all trades — sea captain, ice climber, overlander, scientist, and de facto philosopher.
‘Learn To Live In Harmony’
Horn departed Europe to sail along the west coast of Africa. Along the way, he and a team of researchers tagged sharks to track and protect them.
‘Balance Is The Key To Everything In Life’
Much of Horn’s expedition is in a Mercedes overland G-Class. In between long hours on safari through Botswana, he took time for an impromptu dip.
‘Life Is Lived Out Of The Comfort Zone’
An experienced sailor, Horn is in charge of every aspect of his journey, even chasing the wind.
‘We’re In It Now!’
The Southern Ocean between Cape Horn and Antarctica is treacherous sailing. As noted, “Strong upwelling, westerly winds, cyclonic storms, highest wind speeds on Earth and frequent threat of icebergs make this “the world’s most dangerous ocean.”
‘If The World Is Flat… Then We’re On The Edge’
“Pangaea is our home, our transportation and our safety net. Our bellies are full and our spirits are high. On the outside it is cold and blue. Beautiful but unforgiving. We are a small dot in a very big ocean and the reality is we don’t have a safety net. ”
‘The end of one road leads to the start of the next!’
To make it across the span of Antarctica in time to meet his ride, Horn had to average 25 miles a day solo and unsupported. He carried everything he needed with him every inch of the way.
‘It Is What It Is’
Some two weeks before he was set to rendezvous with his ship on the opposite coast of Antarctica, Horn’s ship experienced “a big electrical problem” and had to turn back. Rather than panic, Horn recited that simple phrase and accepted what he could not change.
‘Be In Love With Life; You Will Never Be Disappointed’
Horn and crew now begin the long trek north. Now on the water, Pangea will take Horn to Oceania, Australia, and drop him off in Asia. There, he must cross the Kamchatka Peninsula before his next polar trek.
Follow Mike Horn’s progress and wisdom on his website and Instagram.