Following 12 months training, learning and a period of acclimatisation, the team will move on from Arctic Norway to the Russian Ice Camp at Barneo for the final briefing. Much of this will be to agree the route and prepare charts. The route will have been overflown previously, so navigating away from or around pressure ridges, boulder fields and open water will hopefully save a great deal of time later.
The team will be equipped with cross country skis and pull a pulk or sledge. This will contain all their equipment, fuel for stoves, clothing, tent and of course food. Walking 12-14 hours each day will not be uncommon. It will be important for the team to achieve a good daily distance when they can, as a bad day may result in only one mile of distance. Storms, obstacles and many other potential issues will happen.
One of the hardest challenges is isolation. With heads fully covered, severe gales most days and walking single file, each member will be isolated. Communication will be limited to signing using ski poles to say "I'm okay", or "I have a problem". Even at the end of the day, food and sleep will be the only priority.
Many polar explorers have described the challenge as 30% physical and 70% mental. Being in the most brutal environment on earth, small issues can become big issues very quickly. The team will constantly be aware of frost bite, snow blindness, blistering, and a host of other physical challenges. With Simon being a type 1 diabetic, understanding his needs and ensuring that all aware of the potential danger signs is key. Whilst being armed, the team will have to be aware of polar bears and when crossing open water, black sharks underneath.
After a period of approximately 2 weeks, the team will be collected by a Russian Military Helicopter from the North Pole and flown back to Barneo.