He made it. And celebrated like we all would; with Scotch and chocolate cake.
Myles Campion, the Harvey Norman Bedroom Cabinetry Buyer & Manager, has returned to Ireland after completing the incredible challenge of skiing the Last Degree to The North Pole! Myles reached The North Pole on Monday 10th of April after 6 days, 120km, 3 layers of socks, 3 polar bear misses and 1 frostbite scare. We caught up with Myles to hear all about it.
The team, led by adventurer Thomas Ulrich, left for Camp Barneo; the temporary Russian military polar station on the ice on the Russian Antonov plane where Myles took his ‘seat’ among the piles of gear. “I was thinking that in the absence of a seat or a belt – it might be a bit tricky to comply with that one.” Myles added.
Myles’ initial reaction to being dropped off in the Arctic is something we can only imagine: “All we could see was the vast frozen ocean around us, our bodies in shock of the extreme and with the knowledge of what lay ahead for the next 6 days.” Staying warm, fed and watered proved to be toughest task and opening the equipment was a challenge – touching the metal karabiners felt like being burned! Myles explains the brutality of the conditions: “The cold was ferocious! It was critical not to get wet as we could literally freeze to death!”
Of course, trekking through such a harsh environment required a good night’s sleep. Myles and his two tent-mates Matt and Bill, had to learn how to putting up their tent, operating the stove and managing their layers of clothes really quickly! “We slept in expedition bags with another bag inside them, which nearly seal around the shoulders. I had a balaclava and a Russian winter hat on my head while I slept.”
Finally, after days of journeying across ice and snow, the team reached their destination, however not without a close encounter from a polar bear. Myles explained “On the fifth day we crossed Arctic Fox footprints and I failed to realise that it was out on the ice cap following a polar bear and her 2 year old cub. Foxes feed off the scraps from polar bear kills.“ Now we would assume polar bears would be one of the main worries you would have when trekking to the North Pole, but Myles conveyed in the most laid back of tones that they ‘‘were far too focused on not freezing to death to worry about bears’’.
The final day was the longest and most grueling section of the trip Myles and his team faced “The final day was a hard slog to the pole prompted by a looming storm, which could have played havoc with our plans to be picked up by the Russians before they close their base.“ On the last day Myles & the team skied 14 hours of slog covering 26km to the pole.
“Bill and I had thoughtfully packed a quarter bottle of Talisker single malt Scotch in a plastic bottle and a chocolate cake and this is what we had for our last meal on the North Pole.” Myles added.
From everyone here at Harvey Norman HQ, we’d like to congratulate Myles on his incredible accomplishment!