Besides its main purpose of raising Climate Change awareness, the expedition has set itself the following goals:
Thousands of people have climbed Mount Everest, and several hundreds have been to both poles; but only a few have reached 81º latitude on a sailboat without getting trapped by ice.
Mars Gaming Northabout Expedition intends to break this record to denounce with actions the quick retreat of the ice field.
To do this they will navigate unfriendly iceberg-filled seas, and face the possibility of being trapped by ice. The path chosen is through the Nares Strait. The starting point, Qanaaq (Greenland).
The expedition will also travel overland, as a team of explorers will try to reach the North Geomagnetic Pole – the center of the Earth’s magnetic field – located this year in Ellespere Island (Canada), amidst glaciers and untouched peaks which the team intends to climb.
If successful, this would be the first time in history a Spanish team reaches the North Geomagnetic Pole.
The Geomagnetic Pole in the Agassiz ice cap.
A real “gate to the white hell”, the Nares Strait was the chosen route for countless historical expeditions trying to reach the North Pole by sea, as it was erroneously believed that a warm sea would be found across the ice barrier. This led to great tragedies and epic tales.
Experts in the history of expeditions will travel with the team; the Northabout will retrace the steps of other historical expeditions like those led by Greely, Peary, Ross Nares, etc.
Some of these places have remained unvisited for over a century.
A book will result from this voyage which will give an account of the history of expeditions as well as the highlights from the Mars Gaming Northabout Challenge.
The team will chart places previously covered by ice and send the results to scientific institutions. They will also carry out journalistic work on the impact of Climate Change both on Inuit culture in settlements like Grise Fiord and Qanaaq and on Nares Strait flora and wildlife.
– ERNEST SHACKELTON