LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tomorrow, polar explorer, filmmaker and award-winning photographer Sebastian Copeland will leave his home in Los Angeles for a historic mission. Copeland and his partner, Australian outdoor adventurer Mark George, will attempt to reach the North Pole on foot and without support, a two-month journey.
The expedition begins at the northernmost edge of Canada, on Ellesmere Island, where Copeland and George will set off for the North Pole with no outside help. The journey is widely considered the most difficult expedition on earth, and has been successfully achieved barely 25 times in the last 100 years. By contrast, Everest has been summited over 7600 times.
If successful, Copeland’s journey, dubbed “The Last Great March,” may well be the last of its kind. The Arctic sea has lost more than 30% of its ice index in 30 years, due to climate change. Dramatic changes in ice thickness have led traditional logistics operators to rule such expeditions “too dangerous” as of 2014, forcing Copeland to re-engineer extraction protocols. Shifting ice and changing weather make search and rescue timing complicated and uncertain.
Copeland is known for his celebrated landscape photography and polar expeditions. With this journey, he aims to visually chronicle an experience that may never be within human reach again, and share those images with the world upon his return. Having previously reached the North Pole in 2009, he will be reporting on the rate of change, and how a natural treasure of our planet is disappearing before our eyes.
In August of last year, to train for this mission, Copeland and George successfully crossed Australia’s driest stretch of land on foot for a world first: the longest latitudinal trek across the Simpson Desert unsupported.
To bring first-hand experiences to the layperson that support science through dramatic visuals and stories of the adventure is the goal of this mission. Copeland plans to share the unique challenges of this expedition, including open leads requiring swimming; four-meter high pressure ridges; negative drift (dubbed the “Arctic treadmill”); extreme cold and humidity; and polar bears.
On Monday, February 27 at 2pm EST, Copeland will transmit a “bon voyage” message via https://www.facebook.com/events/468091986914612/. He will also blog daily about his progress at www.lastgreatmarch.com.