Pen Hadow

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Pen Hadow
Born (1962-02-26)26 February 1962
United Kingdom
Nationality British
Alma mater University College London
Occupation polar explorer, author
Known for First solo trek, without resupply, from Canada to the North Geographic Pole

Rupert Nigel Pendrill Hadow known as Pen Hadow[1] (born 26 February 1962), is founding director of Geo Mission Ltd, [2] an environmental sponsorship organisation, and British polar guide and explorer. He is the first person to trek solo, and without resupply by third parties, from the north coast of Canada to the North Pole.[3] and is the first Briton to have trekked, without resupply by third parties, to both the Geographical North and South Poles from the respective continental coastlines of North America and Antarctica.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Hadow was educated at Temple Grove School, a former co-educational independent school at Heron's Ghyll in East Sussex, and then at Harrow School, an independent school in north-west London, where he was Deputy Head of School and captain for the School's 1st XV rugby and 1st XI Harrow Football teams. In 1977, while at Harrow, he re-instated the school tradition of Long Ducker, a twenty-mile run from Harrow-on-the-Hill to Marble Arch and back. The feat had not previously been completed since 1927.[citation needed] He attended University College London and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Geography in 1984.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Hadow worked at Mark McCormack's Sports Organisation from 1985–1988, acting as an agent representing the European equestrian interests of International Management Group (IMG). He managed IMG's relationship with the Swedish Equestrian Federation to deliver the funds, through corporate sponsorship, to underwrite the staging costs of the inaugural World Equestrian Games (reference of WEG?) in Stockholm (1990). The Games brought together for the first time the world championship events of the six disciplines under the jurisdiction of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI): dressage; eventing; vaulting; carriage driving; and show jumping.

North Pole[edit]

In 2003, Hadow trekked 770 km from Ward Hunt Island,[3] Canada to the Geographic North Pole in 64 days becoming the first person to complete the journey solo and without resupply by aircraft or other means. He started the trek on 17 March 2003 pulling a 265 kg sledge, arriving 19 May. Of the 850 hours travelling across the disintegrating sea ice, he swam part of the way wearing an immersion suit when he encountered open water or thin ice.[1] His book 'Solo: Alone & Unsupported to the North Pole' (published by Michael Joseph) recounts the journey.[5]

South Pole[edit]

In 2004, Hadow partnered with Simon Murray for a trek to the Geographic South Pole.[1] The 1,200 km trek started 5 December 2003 at the entrance to Hercules Inlet on the Zumberge Coast, Antarctica and was completed on reaching the South Pole on 28 January 2004.[1] Murray (63) became the oldest person to reach the South Pole from the continent's shoreline;[6] and the expedition raised US$450,000 for the Royal Geographical Society (London)[7]

Arctic Surveys[edit]

In 2009, Hadow organised and led an exploration team to survey the thickness of the winter-spring sea ice in the northern Beaufort Sea area (Arctic Ocean). Its purpose was to provide a new source of information taken from the ocean's surface to help project how long before the perennial sea ice cover would cease to be a year-round surface feature of the planet .[8] The expedition, known as the "Catlin Arctic Survey" after lead sponsor Catlin Group Limited, an international speciality insurance and reinsurance company, covered 430 km in 73 days,[9] with Hadow accompanied by Arctic explorer, Ann Daniels, and photographer Martin Hartley.[10]

The Survey's observations, viewed in the context of decades of existing measurements by submarines, satellites and buoys, led Professor Peter Wadhams of the Polar Ocean Physics Group (University of Cambridge), to suggest the Survey's work added further evidence to an emerging view that there is a significant probability that by 2020 only 20% of the Arctic Ocean basin will have sea ice cover in the late summer. Professor Wadhams also suggested that by 2030–40, there is a significant probability that the Arctic Ocean's sea ice cover will be transformed into an ice-free open ocean in summer times.[11]

Catlin Group Limited continued its support of the Catlin Arctic Survey in 2010,[12] with a scientific focus on ocean acidification [13] and in 2011 [14] on thermo-haline circulation.[15]

In 2010 and 2011 the Surveys, delivered by newly formed Geo Mission Ltd, involved two inter-linked field research components: a seasonal (Winter/Spring) research base located in on the edge of the Arctic Ocean off Ellef Ringnes Island in Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands; and a 300–450 km transect of the Arctic Ocean surveyed by a team of explorers in the Winter/Spring. Scientific papers are now in publication by the participating research groups.

Geo Mission Ltd[edit]

In 2009, Hadow founded specialist environmental sponsorship organisation, Geo Mission Limited.[16] Geo Mission represents, and designs and organises, scientific research programmes addressing major environmental issues, and arranges the sponsorship funding and public communication of the programmes through partnerships with business and brands committed to environmental responsibility.


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