Two seasoned explorers are locked in a lonely race to the North
Only 27 people have made the unsupported trek to the North Pole.
Consider that more than 1,200 have summited Everest, and the
challenge of the polar trek becomes clear. Last week two European
expeditions ended in disaster. Frederic Chamard-Boudet suffered
severe frostbite after he nearly drowned in the icy Arctic Ocean
on his third day. And Dominick Arduin was declared missing two
days into her solo quest; at week's end she was feared dead after
a fruitless rescue search. Two other adventurers, however, are
pressing on. Wave Vidmar and Ben Saunders are each attempting to
complete a solo trek--walking, swimming and skiing in -40°
weather--to the North Pole. Here's a look at the two remaining
WAVE VIDMAR VS. BEN SAUNDERS
WAVE VIDMAR 39
BEN SAUNDERS 26
[WAVE VIDMAR] Fremont, Calif.
[BEN SAUNDERS] Devon, England
[WAVE VIDMAR] 6'2"
[BEN SAUNDERS] 6'0"
[WAVE VIDMAR] 186 pounds
[BEN SAUNDERS] 210 pounds
WILL ATTEMPT ...
[WAVE VIDMAR] 663 miles
[BEN SAUNDERS] 1,240 miles
OVER A PERIOD OF ...
[WAVE VIDMAR] 60 days
[BEN SAUNDERS] 90 days
[WAVE VIDMAR] Northern Siberia
[BEN SAUNDERS] Northern Siberia
[WAVE VIDMAR] North Pole
[BEN SAUNDERS] Northwest Territories, Canada
[WAVE VIDMAR] Swimming with killer whales, sharks
[BEN SAUNDERS] Not lasting a week, being mauled by polar bears
[WAVE VIDMAR] 280 pounds
[BEN SAUNDERS] 392 pounds
[WAVE VIDMAR] northpolesolo.com
[BEN SAUNDERS] sercotransarctic.com
WHY HE'S DOING IT
[WAVE VIDMAR] "To feed my soul"
[BEN SAUNDERS] "It's about exploring human limits"
[WAVE VIDMAR] Biked across the U.S.
[BEN SAUNDERS] '03 trip to North Pole
UPON REACHING THE NORTH POLE, HE'LL ...
[WAVE VIDMAR] Plant the U.S flag and be flown out
[BEN SAUNDERS] Keep trekking
[WAVE VIDMAR] Solo trek to South Pole
[BEN SAUNDERS] Solo trek to South Pole
COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF WAVE VIDMAR
COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF BEN SAUNDERS