A Morpeth man was part of a team that won what is billed as the world’s toughest Arctic race.
Participants had to avoid polar bears, deal with temperatures down to minus 30 degrees Celsius and cope with blizzards from polar storms.
Jamie Pattison, a member of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team, achieved victory in the inaugural Berghaus Iceman Polar Race – an extreme self-sufficient 100km challenge over remote Arctic Greenland.
He is in his mid-20s, but already has a great deal of experience in climbing mountains and going on expeditions.
The winning team also included Natalie Taylor, a British Army doctor, and Scott Webster, a professional mountain guide.
On day one, they finished the leg in seven hours and three minutes.
There were issues that Jamie, who works as an ambulance technician, had to deal with, such as adjusting his ski boots as they were “a little too tight and slightly uncomfortable”.
He added: “After a couple of hours of skiing, the sun was high in the sky and it was a glorious day, which made balancing pace and managing one’s personal needs such as eating, drinking and staying on the right side of chilly very challenging.”
The event organisers prevented the competitors from racing on day two and three due to the Arctic storms, which went in Jamie’s favour.
He said: “I was slightly pleased about this, as it gave me some time to catch up on managing my feet and my intake of food and fluids.”
On day four, Jamie’s team finished first in six hours. On the last day, again the team came in first place with a time of nine hours and 19 minutes, which was four hours and one minute ahead of the next placed team.
As well as winning the race, they were the only team to complete the course within the allotted time.
Planning and preparation was essential. With all his food and equipment being dragged behind him in a pulk, he could only take the bare necessities in order to minimise weight.
To train for the event, Jamie spent many days in the Northumberland National Park dragging an old tractor tyre behind him, in addition to trips to Norway and Scotland.