Three Poles Challenge

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The Three Poles is an adventurer’s challenge to reach all three of the North Pole, the South Pole, and Mount Everest.

The first person to reach all three poles was Sir Edmund Hillary. He reached the top of Everest in February 1953, the South Pole in January 1958 and made it to the North Pole in company with Neil Armstrong in April 1985. Sir Edmund's son Peter Hillary has also reached all three.

The first person to legitimately conquer all three poles was Erling Kagge (Hillary simply took a flight to the North Pole). He had finished all three poles by May 1994, being 6 months faster than the next person. Tina Sjögren became the first woman to complete in 2002.[1]

Adrian Hayes set a ‘speed record’ by completing the Three Poles challenge in 19 months and 3 days, between 25 May 2006 and 28 Dec 2007, breaking the previous record of 24 months. In 2011, former Wales rugby union international Richard Parks completed the Three Poles challenge in 5 months as part of his successful attempt to reach both geographic poles and climb all of the Seven Summits within 7 months; however, his surface journeys to both the North and South Poles began at 1 degree of latitude from each pole.

Leigh Wang became the fastest woman to complete the Three Poles Challenge in May 2010.

See also[edit]


  • "Sir Edmund Hillary; An Extraordinary Life" by Alexa Johnston first published 2005.

External links[edit]