Remember Ben Saunders? Last year I posted a video of him giving a truly inspirational talk about his expedition to the North Pole. Well, he’s currently in Eureka, Canada, waiting for a break in the weather so he can once again trek to the top of the world.

Ben is a 31 year old Englishman who in his own words “specializes in dragging heavy objects around cold places.” He doesn’t consider himself an explorer but an athlete. “I am an explorer of limits – geographically, physically and mentally. It’s about pure human endeavour, and the way in which I can inspire others to explore their own personal potential.” He says.

In a matter of hours (weather permitting) Ben will begin his latest solo adventure unsupported and on foot from Ward Hunt Island to the Geographic North Pole.

His aim is to get to the top of the world in just 30 days, thereby smashing the current record of 36 days 22 hours which was set in 2005 by a guided team using dog sleds and numerous re-supplies. The route Ben has chosen has only ever been completed once solo and unsupported, by Pen Hadow in 2003, and Ben plans to halve Hadow’s expedition time. It’s an ambitious goal which, if achieved, “will totally reset all existing North Pole records.” According to Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Pulling a 60Kg Sledge packed full of equipment as well as all the food he’ll need for the expedition, Ben is going to walk (and at points even swim) the 478 miles to the North Pole in temperatures ranging from -50 to -5°C with the wind chill as low as -70°C. He will be completely alone in the region with 5.4 million square miles to himself, that’s a land mass larger than the entire United States of America!

Thanks to an Iridium satellite phone and a satellite beacon you can keep up to date with Ben’s progress via his website. There you can also leave comments and encouragement which he’ll actually be checking in to read from time to time. He won’t be able to comment back, but he’ll no doubt appreciate knowing that there are people out there willing him on.

After 8 days on the ice Bens’ expedition to become the fastest man to walk solo and unsupported to the North Pole is over following the critical failure of his ski equipment. More information.

Ben Saunders website & expedition journal
Who the hell is Ben Saunders?
Be inspired : Ben Saunders
[Video] Ben Saunders on BBC Breakfast