Feb 2016
Jan 2016
Starting Out


We have contact details for the specialist visa required to enter the Chukotka region is eastern Russia. This region is sensitive and closed to most Russians let alone foreigners.

We started identifying and costing the kit required for the expedition. Although most of us have been to one of the Poles before, the equipment that we had for those expeditions is not warm enough nor suited to the conditions we are likely to meet in the Bering Strait. It's not a kind place.

We received the first sea ice images and satellite photos. We also identified the fact that the first half of March as is the optimal time to attempt a crossing due to having the best sea ice.

Lottie, an interested and incredibly enthusiastic applicant, provided us with a list of flight operators in the area as well as a huge amount of research on sea ice. (Sadly Lottie has since dropped out due to work commitments).

The RGS issued a communication to its membership announcing that we were looking for ' and realistic adventurers....' This resulted in a very positive response and a lot of applications. Some were incredibly qualified people, others were less so. Mike contacted them all, one by one.

The first meeting of the expedition group took place at All Bar One at London Bridge. It was not the venue we had originally hoped to use and resulted in the meeting being less productive than we had hoped due to noise levels. Skyping the other team members proved very difficult indeed.


Mike bought the Admiralty chart from Stanfords as well as a 'regular' map of western Alaska. Many hours were spent pouring over these and wondering what it would be like on the ice and how it might differ from the Magnetic North Pole. How much ice will there be? Will we need to swim or kayak? How many polar bears live in the region? Lots and lots of unknowns. Only 8 people have ever done this crossing (in one direction). No one has done it two ways!


Mike launched an initiative to recruit further team members. Finding people with the right skill set and experience, who also had the time and financial resources to undertake such an expedition was proving harder than thought.


Mike, Andrew and Andy got back to Resolute in Nunavut having made it to the Magnetic North Pole. The trek had taken 27 days.


Mike set off with a group of 11 others on a 550 kilometre trek to the Magnetic North Pole.


March Mike contacted the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) to arrange a meeting and to discuss the expedition in detail. Shane Winser, whom Mike has known for several years, knows anything and everything about expeditions in the UK and abroad. If you want a navigator, polar explorer, doctor or geologist - ask Shane!

Mike visited the RGS in London to chat further with Shane in order to identify Russians and Russian speakers who might be interested and suitable to join the Bering expedition.

The Bering Strait Challenge 2017
Expedition Patron: His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO