Irish adventurers abandon North Pole expedition
The Irish North Pole Team 2010 has abandoned its expedition to the North Pole after one of the team fell victim to frostbite.
The three-person team comprised of Dr. Clare O'Leary, John O'Dowd and team leader Pat Falvey.
The team was evacuated by a plane that flew them to Resolute in Canada were they rested for one night before continuing home to Ireland.
Part of O'Dowd’s body was in the early stages of frostbite, so the expedition was called off.
"These things happen, "said team operations manager Niall Foley.
The team was planning on being the first Irish squad to reach the North Pole without dogs or any mechanical aid.
They had been planning to walk, swim and ski the 84km journey to the North Pole, which would have taken to two months to complete.
The Irish trio spent 22 days in Yellow Knife and Resolute preparing for the harsh Arctic landscape.
Falvey sent a message to Foley, advising him that they were calling off the expedition.
"We have been pulling and hauling sleds over very rough terrain and exposure is a real danger out here.
“Of course we are feeling somewhat disappointed having to abort at this early stage, but these extreme conditions have taken their toll on John and his injury is not going to improve,” said Falvey in his message to Foley.
Prior to the expedition, Falvey said the journey was the "equivalent to 60 consecutive marathons."
The team knew they would have to cross rugged terrain that harbored dangerous polar bears, bottomless crevasses and melting ice.
Had they completed their expedition, Falvey and O'Leary would have completed the Three Poles Challenge, which is reaching the summit of Everest, the South Pole and the North Pole.
Falvey has completed over 65 worldwide expeditions; O'Leary has completed 22, and O'Dowd 12. O'Leary was the first ever Irish woman to climb Mount Everest in 2004.
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