Monday, 18 February 2008

Mike Horn: my dream date

It's no secret that I'm Mike Horn's biggest fan; his adventures are huge and challenging and he is an exceptional navigator. I'm busy reading his new book "Conquering the Impossible: My 12,000-Mile Journey Around the Arctic Circle" (available online from It's about Mike's ARKTOS expedition (2002-2004), which I fervently followed through his regular email updates.

Although the writing style of the book takes a bit to get used to (not as flowing and fluid as Ranulph Fiennes), Mike's tale is captivating. This is a must-read collectable.

Following from ARKTOS, which he completed in October 2004, Mike has done two other expeditions.

In January 2006 (Arctic winter) he set out with legendary Arctic explorer Borge Ousland to reach the North Pole during the Arctic winter; a time when the sun is nowhere to be seen for months. It took them 2-months (60-days) and logged the pair as the first men ever to arrive at the Pole unaided and in the Arctic winter.

In October 2007 Mike Horn and 3 climbers (Jean Troillet, Olivier Roduit and Fred Roux) set off on a "4 Men, 4 Summits" expedition where they planned to ascend 4 x 8'000-er Himalayan mountains* without supplementary oxygen.

* Gasherbrum II (8068m), Gasherbrum I (8035m), Broad Peak (8048m) and K2 (8611m)

They spent two months in Pakistan and summitted both Gasherbrum peaks but were turned back from completing the expedition by heavy snow, high winds and the approach of winter.

Mike's next adventure starts this year: the circumnavigation of the World. The expedition is titled "Mike Horn's Global Expedition" or "Pangea" (on another part of his website).

This will be done without any motor-powered transport, over the North Pole and South Pole, crossing the seven continents, passing numerous islands and sailing across several oceans.
The expedition will be divided into seven stages. Each stage will represent one of the seven continents (Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Australasia, Asia and Antarctica). Transport/disciplines include sailing, walking, canoeing, kayaking, kite surfing, walking under water, skiing and any animal locomotion i.e. horses, camels etc. where available and necessary. The expedition is tied into global environmental awareness elements.

Mike's website is The site is currently quite scrappy but is seems to be scheduled for revamp to support coverage of his new expedition. You can sign up on the site for Mike's newsletter.

Dream Date
If Vin Diesel isn't available to read me a story, I'd bag a date with Mike Horn to hear his stories of the Arctic winter, the open Alaskan expanse and what it is like to walk on water (the Arctic ocean). I'd definitely ask him to teach me how to build an igloo. In return I'd love to take him on an AR; and I'd even relenquish my hold on the maps 'cos this guy has travelled in the Polar night (twice) and he didn't get lost...


Anonymous said...

Mike Horn has been a hero of mine ever since I heard of his Latitude Zero achievement - circumnavigating the world unmotorised along the equator. Also, his exploration (on foot of course) of the Amazon was also inspiring. I saw some photos of his jungle exploits in a book by Sean Wisedale (of Seven Summits fame, who gave a talk at our company) and was amazed at what a human being is capable of. Articles I have read about him dub him The Greatest Living Explorer. I fully agree. He is an inspiration in particular to adventure racers, because he lives and breathes adventure.
Chuck Norris wears Mike Horn pyjamas. - Ronald

coydogheath said...

lisa, i thought i was your dream date. i'm hurt.