The Facts

The Longest Unsupported Polar Expedition In History

Tim Williamson, the British Ultra-runner is attempting to become the first person ever to walk to and from the North Pole, solo and unsupported. This is a trek so arduous, so demanding that nobody in the history of polar expeditions has even contemplated undertaking it and will make it the longest unsupported polar expedition in History.

He will set off from Resolute Bay in Canada on 13th January 2013 at 13:13 and begin the 2200 mile round trip in the complete icy arctic darkness that will last for the first six weeks of his record breaking challenge. If successful, Tim will also record the longest land based solo unsupported trek ever recorded, the longest civilisation to civilisation trek ever recorded, the first person to make it to the North Pole and back without skis and it will also be the greenest attempt as there will be no air transport involved whatsoever.

The Last Greatest Challenge Left to Man

It has been famously described as ‘the last great challenge left to man’ and for good reason. Not only will it require bulletproof physical robustness to get there and back but Tim’s mental toughness and agility is going to be tested to the extreme. Having to navigate, sleep and eat in total darkness for the first six weeks is going to be arduous enough but the whole expedition is a race against time as the ice melts and therefore his route back disappears.

This year it will be tougher than ever as high temperatures in the arctic are seeing the ice melting at record rates, and therein lies a bigger story – this will be possibly one of the last chances to undertake this expedition as the temperatures at the North Pole trend higher each year, soon it will become impossible to contemplate a return journey by foot. So it is now or never.

Facts About the Expedition

  • Start Point: Resolute Bay, Canada
  • End Point: Resolute Bay, Canada. Via the North Pole
  • Start Date: 13th January 2013
  • Distance: 2,300 miles minimum
  • Timeframe: 100 – 120 days

Robert Peary's March to the North Pole

Image courtesy of National Geographic