After 50 days alone on ice, polar explorer completes first half of record breaking expedition
From Coventry to the end of the Earth, late last night Mark Wood completed the first half of his epic North South Solo Expedition. Exhausted and thrilled to have made it, the former firefighter from Coventry said the journey had been “immense” and that he was “living the dream”, he said:
“After 612 nautical miles and 50 days alone on Antarctic I am now standing at the Geographic South Pole and I feel good. I’d like to say I feel like I’m on top of the world, but I’m actually at the bottom of the world! To be here is just incredible, absolutely amazing even though I know I’m only half way through the expedition.”
Reaching the South Pole exactly 50 days after he set off, Mark hasn’t seen a sole since 21 November 2011 (other than a brief surprise encounter with a group of Norwegian kite surfers!). He has been in amazing spirits, even when spending his 45th birthday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve alone.
Via iPadio satellite phone Mark has shared his progress with supporters and followers each evening. And in return people up and down the country have pledged their support via innovative sponsorship platform, The DoNation. Over 100 people have sponsored Mark by doing simple actions whilst he’s on ice, like stopping to use plastic bags, eating less meat, or making draft excluders. Together, they’ve saved over 21 tonnes CO2, the equivalent amount produced by having a six month long hot shower or driving from London to Edinburgh 100 times. Hermione Taylor, Founder and Director of The DoNation commented:
“Just like the trip itself, Mark’s far from finished – there’s a long way to go before he reaches the ambitious 100 tonnes CO2 target. We’re hoping many more people will get stuck in and do something to support him over the second leg of his trip.”
From the South Pole Mark will return to Punta Arenas, Chile, where he will fly up to the Arctic Circle to prepare for the next leg of his journey. In a few weeks he will set off for the North Pole, where under the veil of complete darkness he will attempt the second leg of this epic journey.
Find out more about the project at www.thedonation.org.uk.