Preparation, preparation preparation
Even more so compared to my previous races and expeditions this adventure has required far more planning and preparation. It’s remoteness, environmental conditions where temperatures drop to -40C as well as the 1800 mile distance to be skied make our decisions and actions critical long before we reach the start line. This has meant there has been a huge amount to learn and understand from the route, kit, nutrition and climate factors. As well as how all these will change as there is a huge shift in temperatures through the season of winter into spring. On top of this we have the physical and mental aspects.
To conquer this we have spent many a sunny and rainy evening sitting round a table covered in an array of maps, kit, food, electronics and other assorted goodies going through it all. This has resulted in a few odd looks as we tried out some face masks whilst in a warm london pub.
Many aspects to the trip are very similar to any other race, trip or expedition, the biggest difference is that a bit like in my Atlantic row there are no shops and the volume of kit is far higher. We will each be man hauling around 250kg worth of equipment at the start with everything we need for the entirety of the trip. For the 3 of us that is almost as much as the weight of our entire boat.
Getting ready to pull this has meant for all of us a large part of our time being spent doing exercise and more recently eating to gain the necessary weight to be in the best possible shape to pull this. I still enjoy being able to do a mixture of sports so my training has mixed cycling, running and the gym with climbing and whilst it was warmer stand up paddle boarding.
All of this will come together for the expedition as we begin our traverse across the frozen arctic sea.