During the final leg of my Pole2Pole expedition on my way to the South Pole on an expedition that began in April, 2011 at the opposite end of the world, my journey has seen me triumph over adversity again and again. Pushing on in the spirit of the great explorers: I have dodged two hurricanes -- one tropical and one polar -- cracked ribs, fallen through ice, endured extreme heat and cold, and lost a crew member to injury (he's fine now). I am honoring the explorers who came before me and demonstrating that even the toughest of challenges can be accomplished without damaging the fragile environment.
Currently kite-skiing through the unforgiving, icy terrain of Antarctica, I have maintained a climate neutral expedition through a combination of excellent planning and sheer willpower. I began the journey from the North Pole on the anniversary of Robert Peary's discovery in 1909, while venerating the history-making expedition of Norwegian Explorer Roald Amundsen who was first to reach the South Pole in 1911. My team and I skied 124 miles on the Arctic ice of the North Pole to the Svalbard Archipelago in Greenland, and then navigated across the Arctic Ocean to Vancouver, Canada by sailboat. The team then cycled through North, Central and South America, passing through major cities in the United States and into Central and South America through deserts, the Amazon jungle, and the mountains of Patagonia.
My team uses a range of eco-friendly equipment and technology to traverse the globe, including skis, kites, dogsleds, solar power, bikes and a sailboat, all allowing me to travel fuel-free between the two poles. Any distance that can't be done without an engine is climate compensated. After I was forced to find an alternate route to the South Pole for my Pole2Pole Expedition due to an iceberg the size of Berlin breaking off of the Antarctic coast and obstructing my planned pathway, I found a military aircraft and crew willing to escort me to the continent to begin my two-month-long ski trip to the South Pole. Because of the fuel used, I vow to compensate for it. I can do this by using energy conscientiously in the future, saving it where I can and opting for clean energy alternatives where possible. The outreach from my expedition is quite possibly my biggest compensation, as I make people more aware of how to control greenhouse gases and conserve valuable and destructive fuels and energies. I also compensate for my carbon emissions by holding lectures with topics ranging from motivation to eco-friendly awareness in an effort to spread his knowledge.
As I get closer to finishing my journey in April, I am sure to encounter more challenges and experience more difficulties along the way. My motto, "Problems are made to be solved, and we will find a solution," has helped me every day of my journey. It applies to both the dangers I encounter during my expedition and my desire to remain climate neutral. I have and will continue to provide inspiring and enlightening updates during my expedition through my blog and Twitter feed.
Follow Johan Ernst Nilson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ExplorerJEN