Thursday, January 22, 2015

TED Talk - Ben Saunder's North Pole Expedition

TED Talk – Ben Saunders’s North Pole Expedition

Rating **** - Very good

The North Pole has been an exciting topic for skiers, hikers and mountain climbers for generations. There are only a handful of people who dared to try to find the absolute north, and very few have made it back alive to tell the tale. Ben Saunders is one of those legends who tackled this extremely difficult mission.
Ben had this goal of getting to the North Pole on foot ever since he was a child. After years of preparation, Ben got on his skies with his friend and headed straight North from Svalbard. Quickly things went wrong. On day two, they were attacked by a polar bear (no injuries), Ben had developed frostbite on his toes and they were very low on food. After skiing 400 miles, they ran out of time and the sea ice was shrinking, and they were forced to leave. They were only 200 miles from the North Pole.

3 years later, Ben decided that he was not done and planned an expedition to go from northern Siberia through the pole to Canada on skies. Despite being told by a famous mountain climber that this trip would be ten times harder than climbing Mount Everest, Ben went on. He eventually made it to the North Pole, but had to be picked up once again before reaching Canada due to shrinking ice.
From this TED talk, I learned that it is extremely hard to get to the North Pole, even with state of the art equipment. What I found really interesting was that it isn't possible to mark the exact North with a flag, or a building because the ice cap keeps sliding around. Form Ben’s accounts, I learned that it can even move five miles in a direction overnight! Overall, I found this TED talk very interesting and inspiring. Despite being told that his plans to the pole were doomed to fail, and actually failing the first time, Ben did not give up his dream. His passion and determination drove him to success.

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