/ 10 April 2002

Iron Mike gets cold feet (and frostbitten hands)

SOUTH African explorer Mike Horn has abandoned his solo bid to cross the Arctic Ocean and tour the North Pole because of frostbite on his hands, a representative said on Wednesday.

”He decided on Tuesday evening to return for medical care for frostbite. He is about 600 kilometres from the North Pole,” said Claudia Tur.

The 35-year-old explorer left Northern Russia’s desolate Severnaya Zemlya archipelago on February 26 to make the 4 000-kilometre voyage across the Arctic.

He then planned to tour the North Pole in a trip, by sleigh and non-motorised on a voyage that had been expected to last 17 months covering about 20 000 kilometres in total.

Horn, who in 2000 successfully circumnavigated the equator on his own, lives in Chateau d’Oex in southwest Switzerland with his wife and two children. – Sapa