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News story

Pull your weight to the Northern pole of Inaccessibility

Lisa Pook talks to Andrew Stuck from Rethinking Cities' Museum of Walking about her forthcoming mission to walk to the “Northern Pole of Inaccessibility”. If you are a little unsure where this is, it is the centre of the Arctic Ocean. A little bonkers or the most normal thing in the world to do? We think she is a little crazy but in the nicest possible way as her description of the training and the discipline required to complete this endeavour reveals.

Lisa is heading to a point which is 800 miles from the nearest land, as part of an ‘Ice Warrior Expedition”. To achieve this Lisa will be using combinations of cross country skiing, which she calls ‘ski-walking’ and kayaking. The adventure requires Lisa to drag the equivalent of her body weight across the ice pulling a Qajac (the Inuit term for a kayak) so when they come to water they can glide along.

Four legs encompass the journey each of 200 miles and Lisa will be attempting one of these legs. With the aim of travelling 10 miles a day how will they navigate through this vast and aboding ice-scape? Here a compass doesn’t work and it will be all down to GPS and pace counting.

Ever been a scout or girl guide, well that is a ‘doddle’ compared to erecting your tent in 80 mile per hour winds, -40C and snowstorms. Teamwork of course is essential and the brutal training which includes cold water immersion would challenge the hardiest of souls.

As the ice shifts, there can be boulders of ice en route making the conditions unbearably tough. It is not called the Pole of Inaccessibility for no reason.

Keeping warm, adjusting to the extreme climate and understanding diet and nutrition involving consuming  6000 calories a day, all this is taken in her stride!

Lisa will be skiing for 12 - 16 hours a day and describes herself as an ordinary person but we think she is pretty extraordinary.

The research that will be bought back from the expedition as part of climate science involves measuring the ice and looking at ridging and rafting. By analysing 1st, 2nd and 3rd year ice it can help determine changes in the temperature and answer some searching questions as to the impact of climate change on this fragile, vast and inaccessible place.

Talking Walking is Britain’s leading walking podcast website, with more than 60 recorded interviews since 2008 - each interview is recorded and produced by Andrew Stuck from Rethinking Cities Ltd. / Museum of Walking in London. 

Listen in to Lisa Pook -

Date added: 26 February 2015

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