BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A Boulder man just finished his third trip to the North Pole un-aided and unsupported. The trip was not only incredibly dangerous but might be the last of its kind.
“I actually have the North Pole right here. I melted some of the snow and put it in this bottle,” Eric Larsen said.
Larsen relaxed on his Boulder patio after just traveling across one of the most uninhabitable places on the planet in an unwavering goal of a place few have ever, or will ever go.
“There’s no land there, there’s no marker. That ice that you get to when when you get to the North Pole is moving,” Larsen said.
The roughly two-month long trek was actually Larsen’s third time, but this one was unlike any before.
“I probably could have been eaten by a polar bear very easily,” he said.
In addition to a very close call with a pair of polar bears, Larsen says what was most alarming was the trek itself.
“Between 2006 to 2010 to this year I experienced very different surface conditions.”
Larsen says he saw warmer temperatures, thinner ice, and less of it. The trip saw open spaces of water from a few feet to half a mile. In order to continue he had to put on special gear and go for a swim.
“There was never really any moment where we thought definitively that we are going to make it.”
But make it they did, crossing about 480 icy miles with only themselves and their gear. It’s a trip that might be the last of its kind with increasingly difficult terrain and a shrinking travel window.
“I don’t like to say things are impossible, but it’s impossible.”
But what Larsen wants people to take away from his trip is not a debate on global warming. He asks people to do what they can to reduce natural resource consumption, such as saving water and turning off lights. As he says, even the longest trip starts with one step.
“Regardless of what the reason is, you’re doing them, I think, ultimately they’re going to protect the planet.”
Learn more about Larsen and his trip by going to his website at ericlarsenexplore.com. The documentary he was working on is set to air early next year.