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Youth Group Planning Pole-to-Pole Trek

Posted April. 18, 2006 03:01,   


Bitter cold, scorching heat, massive tides and homesickness… These are what 12 young people from countries around the world must endure during their 35,000-kilometer march from the South Pole to the North Pole.

The “Pole to Pole 2006” journey, which will be led by world renowned Canadian adventurer Martyn Williams, will not use any vehicles such as cars or airplanes. Participants will move only by ski, bicycle, canoe, and other means that use manpower. If no such devices are available, they will walk.

Starting at the South Pole this November, the team will walk and ski to the Antarctic Ocean and sail thereafter to reach the southern coast of Africa. Then the team will keep moving north by bicycle and foot and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. The journey will continue on to Europe, Siberia, and finally the North Pole.

They plan to reach their final destination in May 2008, a year and a half of moving without resting. The previous pole to pole journey in 2000, also led by Williams, started from the North Pole, through the American continent, and reached the South Pole, covering 24,000 kilometers in nine months.

After the successful first journey, Williams established the Pole to Pole Leadership Institute in 2003 to prepare for the second attempt. The goal of this extreme journey is to show young people that they can make their community, country, and the world better in any circumstance.

The institute will accept application from willing youths until May 31. So far, young people from 30 countries around the world including Korea have applied at the institute’s webpage (www.poletopoleleadership.com). On the first Pole to Pole journey, a Korean, Choi Jae-ung, who was then 19, joined the team.

The institute will make its first round of selection on August 7, and the chosen 240 people will undergo group training in Vancouver before the second selection of 140 is made on August 31. The final team will be decided by those 140 members’ recommendations of each other.

Jin Lee leej@donga.com