One of the world’s most experienced and respected polar explorers, Ascot resident Jim McNeill, has received support for his next expedition in the form of £250,000 worth of digital advertising in premium locations across seven cities in the UK donated by Ocean Outdoor.
He is searching for intrepid volunteers to participate in a scientific trek to the Last Pole – the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility, which has never been reached before.
Jim McNeill has spent over 35 years creating, advising and leading many expeditions in the world’s most extreme climates. In 2001 he founded the Ice Warrior Project, which aims to enable ‘ordinary’ people to experience the challenge of polar exploration and achieve extraordinary feats of endurance and endeavor while gaining an understanding of the changes affecting the Polar climate. Ice Warrior, which will run until 2020, has trained over 300 people in polar survival.
Best known for his work in the polar regions, Jim has led many successful teams through high-risk polar expeditions and critical lifesaving situations where effective leadership and hands-on teamwork are paramount. This experience, along with Jim’s extensive safety and survival expertise, is employed by some of the world’s largest corporations including BBC TV, ITN, SKY and CNN and Hollywood film companies Marvel and Sony Paramount.
In addition, Jim has been instrumental in many scientific experiments to measure the reality of polar climate change. This was further highlighted to an international audience in 2006, when ITV News followed Jim’s solo expedition live from the Arctic Ocean.
In 2016 Ice Warrior will take on its most ambitious challenge yet, when Jim will lead the ‘Last Pole’ expedition to the very centre of the Arctic Ocean – the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility – from February to May 2016.
The search for volunteers began at digital screens donated by Ocean Outdoor in London (at Eat Street, Westfield London in Shepherds Bush), alongside screens in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow, with tailored messages for the people in each specific city.
Former fireman Jim McNeill said, “We want to recruit ordinary men and women on this epic expedition, which will be the first polar trek to actively seek people off the street. This is one of the most exciting, biggest and boldest expeditions of our time, and harks back to the golden age of polar exploration, when there were no experts.”
People who respond to the digital advertising will be asked to complete a questionnaire and then, if successful, will be invited to selection weekends in June and July, costing £245. Candidates will then face further challenges and intensive Arctic training.
“I want 28 people aged 18-80 from all walks of life and who want to make history and a crucial contribution to science.
“Expeditioners will be measuring many sea-ice parameters and the data they collect will further the scientific community’s knowledge of how it disintegrates.”
The journey, including all training and kit, will cost around £20,000 per person and participants are required to have the characteristics and drive to fundraise this money. The expedition will be split into four legs, each lasting 20 days. In total, the trek will cover 800 miles.
Jim, who is 54 and has over 30 years of polar expedition experience, is passionate about opening up the Arctic scenery to those willing to participate. “People don’t need to be super fit. Maturity helps, but the most essential thing is that people must be excellent team players.”
Ocean Outdoor has offered digital advertising slots nationwide, which will run at a range of times from today until Monday May 4.
Richard Malton from Ocean Outdoor said, “This is a one off-opportunity for the people of the UK to do something extraordinary. Ocean are proud to be able to support such an amazing adventure and hope that our digital advertising network will inspire a variety of individuals across the UK to take part.”
Would-be explorers should please visit www.lastpole.co.uk. For information about Jim McNeill visit www.ice-warrior.com . The expedition is being promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #LastPole and participants can register their interest by texting ‘ICE’ to 66777.