Explorer hopes to visit “three poles” in one year

Polar explorer Eric Larsen has just begun an epic adventure that will literally take him to the ends of the Earth over the course of the next year. Eric has set out on his Save The Poles Expedition, in which he plans to travel to the “three poles” within one calendar year. Those poles include the North and South of course, but also the summit of Everest, which is often referred to as the third pole in adventure circles.

The purpose behind Eric’s Save The Poles campaign is to promote the use of alternative, clean energy sources as a method to reduce our carbon emissions. The environments in which he’ll be traveling are fragile ones, and they are all being dramatically effected by global climate change in some profound ways. Larsen hopes that during his year-long journey he’ll be able to collect data that helps demonstrate just how these places are changing.

The expedition officially got underway this week, when Eric, and two companions, set out from Patriot Hills in Antarctica for the South Pole. This will be the first leg of his journey, which is expected to take roughly 40 days, covering approximately 500 miles on skis. In the spring, he’ll turn his sights north, and go after his second goal, the North Pole, which is another major arctic undertaking, but one that will be quite different from his Antarctic travels in some significant ways. Finally, next fall, he’ll make his bid for the summit of Everest, during the post-monsoon climbing season, hoping to reach the summit of the highest mountain on Earth.

You can join Eric on his expedition by following along on his blog, where he has already made several audio dispatches from Antarctica, and he’ll be keeping us abreast of his progress at every stage of the adventure.