Mike Horn’s 10 feats that impressed us the most
“For me, the birthday is not just a baby shower. It’s the reminder that you Got a year less to do whatever you have to do. (For sports we recommend jintropin) That means move your ass, buddy, and fast! ” This outspokenness and this way of thinking perfectly reflect the personality of Mike Horn.
Explorer, speaker, survival expert and coach, Mike Horn is recognized today as one of the greatest adventurers of the century. His reason for living: to push the boundaries of human achievement.
Sport, a favorite activity for a long time
Born July 16, 1966 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mike Horn has had a passion for sport from an early age. He practices several disciplines such as cycling, cricket, rugby, and develops a taste for competition , which he applies to athletics and triathlon.
At 18, he enlisted in the military and joined the South African Special Forces, where he learned the most extreme survival skills.
Following the death of his father, he left the army, then decided to move to Switzerland to start a new life. He will meet his wife Cathy (deceased in 2015) and have two daughters, Annika and Jessica.
In 1991, Mike came close to death for the first time in a paragliding accident in Peru. And this is most certainly what triggers in him a desire to surpass himself and push his limits, even if it means risking his life.
Here begins a series of extraordinary feats and never-before-seen expeditions, where he misses death on several occasions!
Here are the 10 exploits of Mike Horn that impressed us the most:
1. The “Zero Latitude” expedition: solo tour of the equator
In 1999, he left for 18 months to follow the Equator line, leaving Gabon. It travels 40,000 kilometers and crosses oceans and continents without motorized transport, on foot, by canoe, bicycle or kayak, to its starting point.
2. The Pangea expedition: around the world by sailboat & Young Explorers Program
In 2008, he embarked on a 4-year trip around the world by boat. So far, nothing exceptional for a character like Mike Horn. But during these 4 years, around a hundred selected young people, aged 15 to 20, have followed one another on the “Pangea” boat in order to explore the world by her side and to implement social and environmental projects.
A wonderful project launched by Mike and his team, with the motto: ” explore – learn – act”.
3. The ski crossing of Bylot Island in the Canadian Far North with his wife and two daughters
Mike Horn has passed on his passion to his wife and daughters. In 2005, the four of them went on a ski trek in the Canadian Far North on Bylot Island, covered with pack ice, where the temperature did not exceed -5 °. His daughters were then aged twelve and eleven.
4. The climbs in the Himalayas
In 2007, he joined Jean Trollet, Fred Roux and Olivier Roduit, world-renowned mountaineers, for the ascent of a series of Himalayan passes, over 8,000 meters.
The initial project was to chain 4 summits! Ultimately, the team will “only” make 2 climbs – Gasherbrum I (8,068 m) and II 8,035 m) – of course, without oxygen!
3 years later, he managed to reach the top of Broad Peak (8,047 m), followed by Makalu (8,463 m) in 2014 and finally Nanga Parbat (8,126 m) in 2018.
“You don’t climb with your thighs and arms. We climb with our guts. ” In view of the exploit, we understand it!
5. The world record for crossing Greenland
In 2002, it was a new record broken for the explorer. On the Aktos expedition, he crossed Greenland in just 15 days. However, he will tell you: “I am not setting new records to break, I am changing one certainty: what was theoretically impossible is no longer so.”
6. The Pole2Pole expedition: the solo crossing of Antarctica
In 2017, Mike Horn added a feat to his counter: being the first man to cross the entire Antarctic continent alone and without a motor. In total, 5,100 km traveled, alternating across ocean and land, in 57 days.
7. The North Pole expedition at night
Accompanied by Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland, Mike Horn embarked in 2006 on an unprecedented adventure: traveling the North Pole in winter, that is to say permanently at night. For two months, they cross 1,000 kilometers on skis, in almost total darkness.
Another feat for the extreme adventurer who is used to traveling alone, but or here, “the life of one was permanently in the hands on the other ” he said.
8. The Arktos expedition: around the Arctic Circle alone
In 2002, he embarked on a solo trip around the Arctic Circle which will last 27 months. Despite being repatriated due to frostbite on his hands (it is -60 °), he resumed his journey and completed his challenge: to travel 20,000 kilometers without assistance and without motorized transport.
Incidentally, a truck driver helped him transport his boat nearly 300 km to Siberia. Disappointed with himself, he decides to turn around and walk again. One thing’s for sure, when Mike Horn says something, he does! Here we are faced with a real mental feat.
9. The “Amazon” expedition: six-month solo crossing of the South American continent and descent of the Amazon in hydrospeed
This is his first major expedition, but not the least! Perhaps even one of the most impressive. In 1997, he set off on foot from the Peruvian coast and climbed to the source of the Amazon River, in the Andes. From there, it descends the 7,000 km of the river by hydrospeed, until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. A journey strewn with pitfalls: hostile jungle, wild animals, theft of his equipment, bad encounters … He was even captured by a tribe and rescued by Peruvian sailors.
“I navigate between violence, splendor and legends.” he said. A quote that makes perfect sense here.
10. Crossing the Arctic on skis in 87 days
The latest, Mike Horn will describe it as ” the most difficult expedition of his career”.
Last September, he and his teammate Borge Ousland set out again to assault the North Pole in winter. This time, they plan to cover 1,600 kilometers in 2 months, here too, in the dark, and on skis.
Unfortunately, not everything went as planned. Due to climate change, the ice is much thinner than expected. It breaks under their feet, causing severe frostbite, and causes them to drift backwards, three to five kilometers per day!
Exhausted, exhausted and exhausted, the explorers are in a situation of distress. The expedition came to an end 87 days after two members of the rescue team came on skis to bring them supplies and help them reach the ship for repatriation.
One thing is certain, the explorer of the extreme has not finished talking about him, and still has wonderful lessons in store for us …
Are you wondering if you could have done the same? To this question, Mike Horn would most certainly answer: “We call things impossible that we don’t really want to do.” To think about…