16-year old Parker Liautaud is gearing up for his second arctic expedition in as many years. The young man attempted to become the youngest person to ski to the North Pole last year, but saw his efforts thwarted by negative drift, bad weather, and other factors beyond his control. In the end, he came up 15 miles short of his goal, but this year he's back, and looking to finish what he started.
Parker will leave for the arctic in about two weeks, where he'll be attempting a Last Degree ski expedition to the North Pole. But this young man has much grander designs than just grabbing a record for the youngest person to stand at 90ºN. He is also working hard to raise awareness of global climate change, and the impact that is having on our planet, while also hoping to inspire other young men and women to do extraordinary things.
This year, Parker, and his guide Doug Stoup, will also be working in conjunction with the University of Alberta. On their way to the Pole they'll be measuring the thickness of the snow that they find along the way, and will record that data to share with researchers at the university. The hope is that the data collected will help scientists to understand the impact of climate change on the Arctic Ocean, both in the short and long term.
Be sure to follow Parker's progress when he gets underway in a few weeks. He is an impressive young man who seems focused and determined to reach his goal. Even more impressive though is his desire to use this expedition for bigger things, namely to further his cause and to inspire others to get off the couch and contribute as well. I hope that he succeeds in reach the North Pole this year. He certainly has worked hard enough to deserve it! Look for updates on Parker's website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
Good luck Parker!
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