Donegal man on polar quest

Drumkeen man aiming to make history

By Eamonn McFadden

Reporter:

By Eamonn McFadden

Email:

eamonn.mcfadden@donegaldemocrat.com

 Donegal man on polar quest

Justin will face freezing conditions.

A Drumkeen native is getting ready to embark on a cool adventure to create history by being one of the first people to ever walk to the “Northern Pole of Inaccessibility”
Justin Toner, 36, has been accepted onto a programme that will see a group attempt to be the first to access the infamous geographical point, otherwise known as the “Arctic Pole”.


Justin has spent recent years working in the Middle East as a quantity surveyor and in now getting ready to undertake the challenge of a lifetime during a sabbatical from his career.
He is now beginning a year long training schedule that will see himself and a group of other volunteers attempt the “last pole” expedition under the guidance of renowned adventurer, Jim McNeill,
Justin, who is the son of Ann and William Toner of Drumkeen, says he is looking forward to the experience and he will undergo training with the expedition group in Norway later in the year where they will face temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees.
This will just help break the ice for what is ahead as he will face temperatures are low as -50 degrees when he embarks on his polar quest.
Justin say that the coldest temperatures he has experienced to date were around -20 when he climb Kilimanjaro in Africa but he is under no illusion what he is facing next year.
Justin said: “I firmly believe we should challenge ourselves both mentally and physically as often as we can and the Last pole expedition will certainly be challenging.”
He says he is now focusing on the polar expedition full-time for the next year and will spend much of his time in the UK preparing.
“We will probably start the expedition next February and we will start in Canada. It is a hell of a challenge but I am looking forward to it” he added.
He is currently training locally with climbing instructor Iain Miller of Unique Ascent and strength and conditioning coach Adam Speer.
Defined as the furthest point from land on the Arctic Ocean and therefore its centre, the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility remains the last truly significant place in the Polar Regions, yet to be reached by mankind and is over two hundred miles further than the Geographic North Pole. The whole journey will be near to 800 miles from the northern shores of Canada and will take-in the North Magnetic Pole on route.
Having been selected for Ice Warrior’s #Lastpole expedition for the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility Justin is undergoing a comprehensive and intensive training programme to take on at least one of four 20-day legs, pushing the route across the Arctic Ocean by approximately 200 miles each leg.
Jim McNeill, who will lead the expedition, said “I’m delighted to have Justin in the expedition team and look forward to training him in every aspect which will make him a competent polar traveller.”

http://www.lastpole.co.uk/

https://justintoner.com/about/