Wanted: Would-be explorers for extraordinary Polar expedition
A call for volunteers to undergo intensive and comprehensive Arctic training using Sir Ernest Shackleton's advertisement of 1912 has been issued by seasoned explorer, Jim McNeill, for the Ice Warrior Expedition February/April 2008.
Founder of the Ice Warrior Project - a non-profit organisation which trains complete novices, making them into experienced and accomplished polar travellers - Jim is looking for new volunteers to join the project for a "serious polar expedition" in the Arctic season of 2008; which will be Ice Warrior's contribution to International Polar Year. Candidates can expect to face temperatures of -50 degrees Celsius, polar bears, frost bite and treacherous sea-ice conditions.
The exact nature of the expedition will be announced at a later date but will be on a par with the other Ice Warrior expeditions.
"All Ice Warrior expeditions are worthwhile and purposeful adventure, what I call modern-day exploration" says expedition leader, Jim McNeill.
The process of selection involves putting candidates through numerous tasks in adverse conditions and seeing how they perform individually and as a team.
"The selection process is a very positive experience, allowing people to see themselves as they may not have done before."
Having been selected for the Ice Warrior Squad, candidates undergo extensive training including 6 technical training weekends in the UK, a week of ski and survival training in Scandinavia, 3 weeks comprehensive training in the Arctic itself followed by a weeks refresher in Norway.
The final team selected to go on expedition will play a crucial role in collecting data on global climate change for NASA/NSIDC, Washington University and other parts of the scientific community. It is hoped that these results will be beamed near live into an Ice Station placed in a strategic place in the middle of London.
One of Ice Warrior's primary aims is to deliver the reality of global climate change to its audiences.
In 2004 a team of six men and women novices, including a company director, an IT professional, a lifestyle coach and a behavioural science student successfully conquered the Geomagnetic North Pole in a 28 day Ice Warrior expedition covering 300 miles. This was the very first time women had reached this pole.
This year Jim's teams involving 17 novices were successful at reaching the Geomagnetic North Pole, only the 4th expedition to achieve this and the first in its current position.
"Ice Warrior demonstrates that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things given the right attitude and the right training and preparation", says Jim. "There will be a lot of pressure to succeed but that comes from within and from being part of the team. You don't have to be super fit either. I always point out that success is based on 70% mental work and 30% physical effort. One of the hardest things is the feeling of loneliness as days of trudging in fiercely cold conditions and tough terrain can play tricks on your mind."
"Having said that, there are not many people who can say they've even been to the Arctic let alone been a part of a Great British expedition that pushes the boundaries in the traditional sense. This is really the chance of a lifetime and there are no restrictions in age (assuming they are adults), gender or occupation. What they do need is grit, determination, enthusiasm, the ability to work in a team and the will to succeed."
Anyone interested in applying for a place on the Ice warrior team should visit the website at www.ice-warrior.com for further information.