Mike O’Shea FRGS, native of Co. Kerry, Ireland, has a long and varied adventure history. His early climbing career included the famous “Three Cups of Tea” K2 expedition and climbing extensively in the Alps, Himalayas, Africa, New Zealand and Iran Jaya over the past 30 years.
In recent times, Mike’s adventures have focused on the crossing of some of the world’s major ice caps in a series of adventures called The Ice Project. This has seen him make two attempts to walk to the North Pole, successful crossings of the North Patagonian Ice Cap, Lake Baikal, South Kilimanjaro Ice Cap, Greenland and South Georgia.
Alongside Mikes adventures he has invested a great deal of time and effort in raising money for various charitable causes. This has seen him fund the building of a 32-bed orphanage, library and kitchen in Africa, build a “Home Of Hope” in Chernobyl, a new school in Nepal in addition to supplying over 150 eco stoves to the Nepal Stoves Project and working to raise in excess of €2 million for a wide variety of Irish-based charities.
The next series of adventures that Mike has planned focus on the Poles of Inaccessibility. A pole of inaccessibility is a geographical point that represents the most remote place to reach in a given region such as continent, often based on distance from the nearest coastline. Mike will cross from coast to coast via each pole by 4WD, motorbike and at times on foot or ski. A geographic concept, the location of a pole of inaccessibility is not necessarily an actual physical feature. Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a Canadian explorer, was the first to introduce this concept in 1920 to differentiate between the location of the North Pole and the most remote and difficult location to reach in the Arctic. Most recently, in 1986 Nicholas Crane and his cousin Richard Crane located the pole of inaccessibility for the Eurasia landmass, which they travelled to by bicycle from Bangladesh!
Attempts to Reach the Poles
These locations include some of the most remote and difficult places to reach in the world and although several of them are located near human settlements, no one has ever reached all 6 Poles of Inaccessibility, this will be Mike’s task, but to add to the difficulty he will travel across the full continent via each pole (coast to pole to coast), beginning this December in North America.