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Many climbers and mountaineers dream of summitting unclimbed peaks. Making 8 first ascents might seem like an unattainable feat, but for Polar explorer Phil Wickens this was accomplished on just one expedition!

A skier on a mountain on the Antarctic Peninsula

Photocredit: Phil Wickens

In January 2012 Phil led a small team of mountaineers and skiers to climb 13 peaks located in the Antarctic Peninsula. Travelling between islands by yacht, the summits were achieved in multi-day and single day tours. Rising straight out of the sea, the mountains range from 500 – 2600 m in height and are heavily glaciated, even during the Antarctic summer. Due to uncertainty over the thickness and conditions of the sea ice, choosing which mountains to summit in advance is not always possible. This adds an extra dimension to the adventure which must include contingency plans in case thick sea ice makes sailing in some places impossible.

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Update: We no longer stock the Arctic Parka and instead recommend The North Face Suzanne Tri Climate Jacket, the Jack Wolfskin Nova Scotia Jacket or the Didricksons Women’s Angelina Parka.

As with many The North Face Jackets, the Arctic Parka is a best seller, normally selling out within days of arrival at our shop. To find out why the Ladies Arctic Parka is such a huge seller we asked Sarah to take it for a test, just as she did with the North Face Womens Resolve Jacket a few weeks ago.

Women's Arctic Parka Jacket from The North Face

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Continuing our series of interviews with polar explorers and adventurers, such as Dixie Dansercoer and Mikael Strandberg, we have recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Foot, arguably the most self-demanding man to reach the South Pole on foot.

Polar adventurer Chris Foot sitting on his sled

Solo, unassisted and unsupported, Chris Foot had to carry and drag everything he needed for the entire expedition.

During the 2010 / 2011 summer season in Antarctica, polar explorer Chris Foot made an attempt to become the first person to travel solo, unsupported and unassisted to travel from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole and back.

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Everest Summit: The Third Pole

Mount Everest, Eric Larsen's Third Pole. Source: Flickr by watchsmart

Earlier today polar explorer Eric Larsen summitted Mount Everest, the third pole in his three pole challenge. Along with the Arctic North pole and the Antarctic South Pole, the summit of Everest is referred to as the third pole. Whilst taking on the challenge of reaching each of these specific points may not be a new one, Eric Larsen has achieved his goal in a single year. It is also worth noting that Eric and his Sherpa guides are the only Everest summitteers in the Autumn season this year.

The main purpose of the three Poles challenge is to highlight the importance of these icy environments to the planet and the wildlife that they support:

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When it comes to finding out about adventures taking place across the globe one of the best places to look is The Adventure Blog. Written by Adventure Blogger Kraig Becker the main focus is on climbing expeditions in the Himalayas and polar expeditions in the Arctic and the Antarctic. However, it does not stop there. If there are any great adventures taking place anywhere in the world Kraig Becker will have it covered, from Ripley Davenport’s attempt to make a solo and unsupported trek across Mongolia to the Plastiki Expedition in which adventurer David de Rothschild is sailing his famous boat, made from more than 12,000 plastic bottles, from San Francisco to Sydney.

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In August last year we wrote about Birdfair and Birdlife International and their conservations campaigns, including the Save the Albatross Campaign. The Adventure Blog has reported that in February 2010 New Zealander Hayley Shephard will attempt to sea kayak solo around South Georgia Island in order to raise awareness of the threat which the Albatross is currently facing.

South Georgia is home to a number of Albatross species and to attempt a solo sea kayak journey for the Plight of the Albatross can only capture a fascinated audience to encourage protection of one of the worlds most precious of seabirds.

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Not many of us can say that we have been to either the Arctic or the Antarctic, but for Dixie Dansercoer the sub-zero climates of the poles are a passion. Dixie Dansercoer is the ultimate polar explorer and extreme sport expeditionist, he makes regular polar trips and has crossed both polar regions on foot.

Born in 1962 in Nieuwpoort, Belgium, Dixie has spent most of his life travelling the world, taking on many challenges across a wide range of outdoor activities. From mountaineering to mountain biking, from running to powerkite-skiing and from sailing to wind- and kitesurfing, Dixie will use any method to explore the extremes of our planet. A list of Dixie’s adventures and achievements is shown at the bottom of this post.

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Expedition Reaches the Pole!

On the 27th of December 2008 Adam Wilton and Gavin Booth reached the South Pole. Their unsupported, unassisted expedition from Hercules Inlet to the Geographic South Pole took 45 days 13 hours and 30 minutes.

It is only just starting to sink in that we are actually here and we are over the moon. On reaching the South Pole we believe that we have become only the 12th/13th Britons in history ever to make it to the South Pole from the edge of Antarctica unsupported (no resupply) and unassisted (man-hauling only). Since the start of our planning, it has been a five year journey to get here and we look forward to reflecting on what we have done.

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South Pole Expedition Pushes Past 86.5 Degrees

On Friday 12th November, Adam Wilton and Gavin Booth passed the 86.5 degree line on their way to the South Pole. Adam and Gavin have been walking across the Antarctic for nearly five weeks now. They estimate that they will reach the South Pole on New Year’s Day.

With the snow softer and sastrugi less extreme, they have been able to ski instead of walk. This has meant using different muscles and has given a much needed rest to the muscles that are used for walking. They are pulling all of their expedition gear, including their tent and their food, on sleds without any help from dogs or snow-mobiles.

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Half Way to the South Pole

On 11/11/08 Adam Wilton and Gavin Booth set off on an expedition to the South Pole. They have now reached the half way point, the 85 degree line.

The sun has been out and the wind is not strong, but the ambient temperature is still a bone chilling minus 19 degrees Celsius.

Adam and Gavin have no supply lines. They have with them everything that they need to survive the expedition, which they intend to complete on New Year’s Day 2009, when they arrive at the South Pole. Previously the Sastrugi were making the going hard. Now the snow has become soft skiing is impossible, so Adam and Gavin are walking, pulling their sleds behind them.

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