Out There

March 22, 2004

Two seasoned explorers are locked in a lonely race to the North
Pole

Only 27 people have made the unsupported trek to the North Pole.
Consider that more than 1,200 have summited Everest, and the
challenge of the polar trek becomes clear. Last week two European
expeditions ended in disaster. Frederic Chamard-Boudet suffered
severe frostbite after he nearly drowned in the icy Arctic Ocean
on his third day. And Dominick Arduin was declared missing two
days into her solo quest; at week's end she was feared dead after
a fruitless rescue search. Two other adventurers, however, are
pressing on. Wave Vidmar and Ben Saunders are each attempting to
complete a solo trek--walking, swimming and skiing in -40°
weather--to the North Pole. Here's a look at the two remaining
pole stars.

WAVE VIDMAR VS. BEN SAUNDERS

AGE

WAVE VIDMAR 39
BEN SAUNDERS 26

RESIDENCE

[WAVE VIDMAR] Fremont, Calif.
[BEN SAUNDERS] Devon, England

HEIGHT

[WAVE VIDMAR] 6'2"
[BEN SAUNDERS] 6'0"

WEIGHT

[WAVE VIDMAR] 186 pounds
[BEN SAUNDERS] 210 pounds

WILL ATTEMPT ...

[WAVE VIDMAR] 663 miles
[BEN SAUNDERS] 1,240 miles

OVER A PERIOD OF ...

[WAVE VIDMAR] 60 days
[BEN SAUNDERS] 90 days

STARTING POINT

[WAVE VIDMAR] Northern Siberia
[BEN SAUNDERS] Northern Siberia

END POINT

[WAVE VIDMAR] North Pole
[BEN SAUNDERS] Northwest Territories, Canada

GREATEST FEAR

[WAVE VIDMAR] Swimming with killer whales, sharks
[BEN SAUNDERS] Not lasting a week, being mauled by polar bears

SUPPLY HAUL

[WAVE VIDMAR] 280 pounds
[BEN SAUNDERS] 392 pounds

BLOG

[WAVE VIDMAR] northpolesolo.com
[BEN SAUNDERS] sercotransarctic.com

WHY HE'S DOING IT

[WAVE VIDMAR] "To feed my soul"
[BEN SAUNDERS] "It's about exploring human limits"

LAST EXPEDITION

[WAVE VIDMAR] Biked across the U.S.
[BEN SAUNDERS] '03 trip to North Pole

UPON REACHING THE NORTH POLE, HE'LL ...

[WAVE VIDMAR] Plant the U.S flag and be flown out
[BEN SAUNDERS] Keep trekking

NEXT EXPEDITION

[WAVE VIDMAR] Solo trek to South Pole
[BEN SAUNDERS] Solo trek to South Pole

COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF WAVE VIDMAR COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF BEN SAUNDERS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)