Beirut, 18 February, 2009 – Maxime Chaya to Take Up a New Challenge:
Skiing Unsupported, All the Way to the North Pole
In May 2006, while completing his “Seven Summits” quest to climb the highest mountain on every continent, Maxime Chaya became a national hero by raising his country’s flag for the first time in history on the rooftop of the world: Mount Everest. Then, in December 2008, he proudly planted Lebanon’s flag at the South Pole after 47 days of unassisted, unsupported skiing from the Antarctic coast, a challenge achieved by only very few people. Today, Chaya is about to undertake a new journey and embody Bank Audi’s motto, “Grow Beyond Your Potential”, yet again…
In a press conference held on February 18 at Bank Audi Plaza, Chaya, the Bank’s Corporate Ambassador since 2007, confirmed his intention to once again test his commitment, determination, and endurance by skiing over 800 km to the North Pole from the northern tip of Canada, thus completing his “Three Poles” odyssey which has also included Everest and the South Pole.
“Of those who have tried to reach the Geographic North Pole, few have made it there from the coast by surface traverse,” he says with regard to one of the most hazardous places on Earth, comprising an ocean that is more than 4,000 metres deep and covered with constantly shifting ice. “More is known about the surface of the Moon than what is under that imposing ice sheet, which is dwindling dangerously due to global warming.”
The Peary Centennial North Pole Expedition will set off from Ward Hunt Island on a bitterly cold March 1, 2009, a hundred years to the day Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson, along with a team of Inuit, left the northern tip of Canada to become – albeit controversially – the first men to reach the Geographic North Pole. Like Peary and his entourage of 23 men, 133 dogs and 19 sleds, Chaya’s expedition will require him and his two teammates to negotiate their way around pressure ridges and leads of open water in extreme weather conditions, especially during the first three weeks when there will be no daylight and temperatures as low as -60°C. If all goes well, the completion date will be April 25, amounting to eight weeks on the treacherous ice.
Continue reading Maxime to the North Pole: Press Release