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Dublin: 10°C Monday 27 September 2021

Irish North Pole duo forced to turn back after facing €120k bill

The team said they would face a bill of between €120,000 and €180,000 to continue after their plan to share charter logistics with other teams fell apart.

Clare O'Leary training for the expedition
Clare O'Leary training for the expedition

AN IRISH DUO  planning to become the first Irish team of explorers to reach the North Pole have been forced to turn back.

The two-person team of Clare O’Leary and Mike O’Shea said it became impossible to complete the challenge when their plan to share charter logistics with other teams fell apart. The team would have needed between €120,000 and €180,000 to continue the expedition.

Mike O’Shea said that the decision to turn back had been very difficult:

We never anticipated this turn of events. It’s very hard to explain how difficult it is to walk away from an expedition into which we have invested so much time, energy and money – especially when it feels like things are going well for us.

The team had been making good progress through one of the toughest parts of the trek to the North Pole.

“We had been moving well through one of the hardest sections in a period of uncharacteristic bad weather, but with our opportunity of shared resupplies removed we were left with no choice but to return to the start point,” said O’Shea. He  said that the team expect to be picked up from their start point on 15 or 16 March.

The expedition was expected to have taken between fifty and sixty days through average daily temperatures of between minus-40 and minus-60 degrees Celsius.

Expeditions to the North Pole have a success rate of around 30 per cent. If O’Shea and O’Leary had made it, they would have been the first Irish expedition to make it to the remote Arctic point.

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