The North Pole

‘Unlike a mountaineering expedition such as the ascent of Everest, where there are photographs, satellite images, sketches and written accounts of the routes, and almost every metre of the way is recorded and can be studied and rehearsed, the chart for the North Pole is essentially a blank piece of paper, but for a point in the middle – the Pole – a series of equally spaced concentric circles around it – the degrees of latitude – and 360 equally spaced lines radiating out from it – the degrees of longitude. There is nothing else to record – no rocky outcrops to be avoided or used as landmarks, no mountains or hills, no islands, shallows or deeps, no shipwrecks, navigational beacons or lighthouses, no permanent features of any sort. I would just step off the beach, almost the northernmost beach in the world, and simply keep heading out to sea until I reached the North Geographic Pole – a pinprick of nothingness in the middle of nowhere.’

– Pen Hadow (Solo – The North Pole: Alone and Unsupported)

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