As a child I read about the great explorers of the Heroic Age and dreamt of their endeavours. In 2006 I put my name forward to train for an expedition to traverse South Georgia in the footsteps of Shackleton, Crean and Worsley. I gave up smoking and undertook some tough training sessions in Kerry, Ireland and Krosbu, Norway – prior to then my only experience were a few hikes across the Wicklow Mountains. We learnt snow shoeing, ice axe breaking, glacier rescue and rope techniques before heading down south in November 2006. We succeeded in crossing South Gerorgia with 24 kilos on our backs and went on to visit Elephant Island, cross Deception Island and even hike up a glacier on the Antarctic Peninsular.
On our return I committed myself to train for an expedition to traverse the polar plateau in Greenland. I again spent many weeks in Norway learning Nordic Skiing, cold weather camp craft and sledge hauling. In August this year we flew out to Greenland’s east coast and started our traverse, hauling 90KG sledges. It took 31 days in all and was tough going, thanks largely to the vast amount of melt water we encountered – the Greenland Ice Cap is indeed melting quite rapidly.
In November 2007, one and a half years after taking my first steps towards my childhood dream, I will leave for Antarctica with three others. From there we will embark on the first ever Irish attempt on the South Pole.