British adventurers create new circumnavigating record

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London, May 10 : Two British adventurers, namely James Hooper and Rob Gauntlett, have become the first people ever to travel from the North Magnetic Pole to the South Magnetic Pole and onto Australia, a journey of 22,000 miles.

According to a report in The Telegraph, Hooper and Gauntlett skied across the Arctic ice cap, cycled the length of the Americas and sailed from Chile to Australia.

The record-breaking journey took them a year, a month and a day.

They relied on wind and muscle power for the entire route in a bid to highlight the threat of global warming and the harm done to the environment by carbon emissions.

The pair established their expedition credentials in 2006 when they became, at the age of 19, the youngest Westerners to climb Mount Everest.

Just reaching the start of their journey in April last year took eight days.

A blizzard meant they were unable to be dropped by helicopter at the Magnetic North Pole, so instead they traveled by dog sled led by Inuit guides.

From Greenland they sailed to New York, and from there cycled 11,000 miles through the United States, Central America and South America to Punta Arenas in the far south of Chile.

One of the toughest stretches was through the Atacama Desert, where for 1,000 miles they saw barely a bird, animal or plant.

With the help of a professional skipper and crew, they sailed the Blizzard, an Australian expedition yacht, to the Falkland Islands and then 9,000 miles across the Southern Ocean, stopping briefly at the remote French sub-Antarctic territory of the Kerguelen Islands.

They reached the Magnetic South Pole before pressing on to Hobart, Tasmania, and finally Sydney.

"Completing the expedition seemed like such an impossible, distant feat when we set out," said Gauntlett. "We had huge problems along the way, both financial and physical," he added.

Apart from nearly capsizing, the most sobering part of the journey was seeing the impact of global warming in the Arctic.

"The sea ice has thinned by 50 per cent over the last 20 years," said Hooper. "There are huge changes going on up there which mean we all need to start making changes to our lifestyle to reduce our carbon emissions," he added.

The two friends intend to write a book and produce a documentary about their journey before planning another adventure.

ANI

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