Globetag is a worldwide lost property recovery service that puts finders in touch with owners by e-mail. Globetag provides customers with sets of long life tags and adhesive labels that identify the owner with a unique code. The finder of the globetagged item can communicate with the owner by going to the Globetag web site and writing a message. Globetag forwards the message within minutes to the owner's registered e-mail address. Owners can also choose to receive the finder's message as a text message to their mobile phone. The parties then organise the item's return. Globetags are supplied at retail outlets, online and to corporations as a membership retention initiative. Globetag is the principal sponsor of the Icetrek North Pole expedition. Our thanks to this visionary company, and to Simon Buckley, Peter Searle, and in particular Greg Searle, without whom this expedition may never have come to fruition.
Since 1996 Cerpolex (Polar Circle Expeditions) has led the field in
logistics for High Arctic projects. They
have worked with the vast majority of North Pole expeditions beginning from
the Siberian side of the Arctic, resulting in a 95% success rate. Although
Cerpolex is not directly responsible for those successes,
and are generally more expensive than their competitors, it is an indication
that most serious teams use their quality service.
Cerpolex is also the leader in the field of tourism,
facilitating public access to the North Pole for nearly a decade. Popularity
has increased significantly since they opened the Spitzbergen (Norway) route
use of a Russian Antonov 74 airplane.
The Cerpolex team consists of a diverse profile of talented and
experienced people that provide a comprehensive service, and are able to
study and support any type of projet. They were responsible for the "test
flight" to the
North Pole by MI 26 helicopter; the logistics for Alain Hubert's North Pole
route from the remote New Siberian Islands; the first cooperation with
National Science Foundation at Barneo (North Pole Observatory).
Cerpolex was the logistics partner for Eric and Jon's
successful North Pole expedition. They also facilitated the difficult search
flight that found the team after their satellite communications beacon
malfunctioned and extracted the team from the North Pole without any
telephone or radio contact.
Mountain Hardwear designs and manufactures the best outdoor gear in the world. Jon and Eric protect themselves from the Arctic cold and wind with Mountain Hardwear because the gear is robust, fits well, has functional features and looks spunky. Some of it, like the semi-submersible Ice suits, has been modified by MHW to the team's specs. Thanks to everyone at Mountain Hardwear, particularly Gaston McMillan, for their keenness to provide us with the most suitable equipment for a North Pole trek.
Lauda Air has provided valuable assistance with seats and freight between Melbourne and Moscow. After the events of September 11, they were the only airline willing to sponsor the expedition. Thanks to a great team spanning Melbourne and Sydney - Andy Vargoczky, Mike McMillan, Karen Ramsay and Anna Galovic, and Kim Watson at Watson, Curro, Bourke and Menta freight forwarders.
Snowgum has been a sponsor of Eric's expeditions since 1995. They've provided him with all sorts of stuff, including endless encouragement, and played matchmaker between Eric and Mountain Hardwear (Snowgum is the Australian distributor). Thanks particularly to Sian Johnson, Ross Elliot and Kirsten Elliot (no relation!)
PHA was responsible for the popular and award-winning Iridium Icetrek expedition website in 1998/99. Ever since, they have accommodated Eric's web needs with services in design, hosting, software programming, interactive map and service provision. PHA has also hosted the Australian launch of Eric's films, Into the Teeth of the Blizzard and Riding the Tempest. Cheers to Peter and Radmila Harding, Richard Harris and the rest of the gang.
With the success of Eric's kayak/sled expeditions across Greenland and the South Patagonian Icecaps, Globetag Icetrek is using Dagger CFS kayaks as sleds. The short, chunky, robust creek boats are suitable as sleds because of their short length, good width, stability and sheer toughness. The superlinear polyethylene is exceptionally strong in temperatures down to -100°C and below and can be easily repaired in the field. The team has removed all the guts from the boats and cut 80% of the decks off, allowing full utilisation of volume for sledding. However, they are boats after all and Eric and Jon will use them as such for crossing the numerous leads of open water. By the way, they're also brilliant creeking kayaks! Thanks particularly to Andy Gilliam at Dagger and Dita Pahl at Canoes Plus.
The guys at KS4U.com have been supplying Eric with Quadrifoil and KiteSurfer
kites since 1995. Greenland expedition used #4 Quadrifoil "Classics"; South
Pole used Q2003 and Q2005 and the #7 Competition; Patagonia used Q2003 and
Q2005. The Arctic Ocean will see the use of both Quadrifoil and KiteSurfer,
depending on wind and surface conditions, together with the dependable
Q-Line RS2 spectra lines. Rene Kung, Jean-Michel Audivert and the rest of
the team - many, many thanks.
Bang & Olufsen's new BeoSound 2 is a pocket-friendly digital music player that draws upon the computer as a source for musical entertainment and allows you to enjoy your MP3 files in a myriad of environments. Utilising a 128Mb SD card, the unit is the perfect companion for a North Pole expedition. Its compactness, together with its smooth stainless steel cabinet and absence of sharp edges, allow BeoSound 2 to slip comfortably into a pocket, or sleeping bag. Coupled with B&O's adjustable aluminium earphones, Eric and Jon will be truly wired for the best sound in the world. Thanks to B&O, and to David Lenti.
Baffin makes the warmest boots in the world. The innovations are simply beyond anything else available. The team will be using the new 'Magnum' model - premium grade rubber sole, Extreme Climate removable inner, with a GelFlex in the mid-sole and heel and combined Titanium Cordura/leather upper. Thanks to Baffin and David Moylan for their dedication in providing us personally with the best fit and most suitable boot for the Arctic ice.
Oakley has been providing Eric with eyewear since 1998. The team is using the Racing Jacket and Scar sunglasses and A Frame goggles. The Racing Jackets and goggles have interchangeable lenses, useful for varying light conditions. With the 24-hour light of the Arctic, eyes will be well protected behind Oakley. Thanks Oakley and Matt Martin at the Torquay, Australia office.
Fujifilm is the film of choice for the North Pole expedition and has been used by Eric on all of his polar trips. Fuji Velvia is an exceptional film with excellent colour saturation, clarity and cold handling. All images in Ice Pix and galleries in the various Icetrek websites are shot on Velvia. A warm thanks to Graham Carter from Hanimex/Fujifilm.
CLS Argos is a French company operating since 1986. It offers satellite-based location and data collection, processes raw satellite altimetry data and delivers immediate usable results to a worldwide user community.
Guan Oon at the Melbourne Argos office has been looking after Eric's satellite needs since 1998 and has facilitated the modification and use of the Seimac WildCAT terminal. Cheers Guan.
Seimac is a Canadian company delivering custom engineered satellite tracking, meteorological and data solutions. They have provided the team with their WildCAT Argos terminal, one of the smallest and most reliable satellite transmitters available. Dave Clement, an Australian electronics engineer and Antarctic veteran, has designed and implemented a hand-held and weatherproof unit that enables the WildCAT to transmit not only the team's position, but also SMS-type messaging and emergency signal. Great synergy - Seimac, Argos and Dave!
The new SATELLITE NAVI PAT2GP-1V uses the constellation of GPS satellites that ring the globe to tell you your current location. The watch employs a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery and high-density device mounting to create a new SATELLITE NAVI watch that is even more compact and lightweight than the original GPS first created by Casio last year. A great innovation for the adventurer. Thanks Casio.
Since supplying the Iridium Icetrek expedition, Freedom Foods in Melbourne has been supplying Eric and Jon's expeditions with high-energy food bars. The 120g bars - more a condensed loaf - are a mixture of honey and oats with a carob topping. This time Freedom has added choc chips and increased the butter content for the team, giving an added boost when it's most needed. Thanks again Freedom Foods and Barbara Woods.
Leki is the world leader in ski, fitness and trekking poles, and have provided the team with the Lawisond Extreme model. Jon used Leki across Australia, Eric across the South Patagonian Icecap, now they go to the North Pole. Leki's innovations are truly functional - removable Turbo disc grips and baskets, both poles are connectable as a long avalanche probe, male mount accommodates camera thread - and now they will also be used as supports for the team's polar bear trip wire alarm system. Thanks again Leki and Martin Schnelle at Marvelox.
Eric has been using Grivel equipment since his Greenland crossing. Their screws have held his tent to the Shackleton Glacier in the Transantarctic Mountains, their crampons have carried him up the same glacier, down the western flank of Greenland, through Patagonia's Upsala and together with their axes and hammers, up the icy faces of Antarctica's Framnes Mountains. Eric and Jon will carry a Nepal Light axe on their harnesses for self-rescue on the Arctic pack. Great gear Grivel and thanks again to Marvelox.
Toby Thain of Telegraphics designed and implemented the Icetrek Expeditions and North Pole websites. Designer, photographer and typographer, the man has an eye for style. Thanks Toby.
All MSR products have been supplied at cost by the Australian distributor, Sea to Summit. Sea to Summit is an Australian wholesaler of outdoor products committed to bringing innovative, practical and durable equipment at the lowest cost to the outdoor enthusiast. Thanks to Penny, Roland and Tim.
Remote Equipment Repairs (e-mail) is a Melbourne-based quality service repairing
outdoor equipment. But they are so much more. They have manufactured
Eric's specialised items including Windos (wind bivys for the South Pole
trek), major tent modifications to battle the Patagonian winds, and
harnesses and kayak/sled covers for North Pole. Thanks to Alex 'Boox' Haslau, Jani
Huotari and the rest of the team for their great work.
Seasonal Way is an Australian company that facilitates people in finding a balance between healthy body and mind. Their products, each tailored to seasons and metabolic type, are made exclusively from the best natural ingredients and include herbal tonics, protein powder, skin and body products. Eric has incorporated Perfect Protein into his polar diet since 1998 with great success and the winter skin balm has salvaged much burnt and ravaged skin. Thanks to the dynamism of Amanda Davey and Glenys Rochford.
Miriam Velevski is a registered chiropractor and naturopath with a deep passion for healing and people. She worked on Eric for two months prior to his South Pole expedition with great effect and he has again placed himself in her capable hands. Thanks very much Miriam.
Eric has used Karhu skis since the early 80s, with great success. He has completed all of his expeditions with Karhu skis - XCD GT, Extreme, 10th Mountain Tour - and now the Catamount. They are a high performance and very strong ski. Thanks to John Anson at Ansco for his continued support.
Dotmar in Melbourne has provided the expedition with polyethylene (UHMWPE) flex plates for the Icetrek-developed Flex-Trek bindings. Thanks to Alan Clarke.
West's Packaging (e-mail) has been providing Eric with food packing pouches since 1998. These 65 micron ply pouches are made of a 5 layer co-extruded nylon/LLDPE and prevent transfer of all liquids. West's has also made vapour barrier sleeping bags using the same material. These bags will be used inside the synthetic sleeping bags to prevent body moisture from entering the bag and freezing in the fibres. Thanks Jeremy West and Malina Sorensen.
In order to test the suitability of some materials, in particular plastics, Westgate Cold Stores made their refrigeration facilities available. The freezer, set at -38°C, housed the Dagger kayak for three days before Eric put it through a series of tests. Jon and Eric also spent a couple of days in the freezer to test and modify their own strategies for camping, clothing and behaviour. It's the closest one can get to Arctic conditions during a Melbourne summer.
Thanks to Dave Cook and Joe Catalfamo.
Jason at IOS (e-mail) has provided valuable advice on orthotic considerations of the
FlexTrek binding. Jon and Eric also use orthotics crafted by Jason for
previous expedition. Cheers Jason.
Aerosonde specialise in the design, manufacture and implementation of
robotic aircraft. A particular aim of the program has been meteorological
observations in remote and otherwise inaccessible regions, such as the High
Arctic. Utilising the Aerosonde Global Reconnaissance Facility,
able to provide clients with data gathering capacity from remote, dangerous,
or difficult locations. With their experience in sub-zero electronics,
Aerosonde has kindly 'winterised' all of the expedition electronic leads
using Teflon cabling. Thanks to Brad Phillips. (one 'L' too many, Brad!)