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Explorer visits UK coldstore, to prepare for Polar journey.

Explorer Dale McKenzie is headed for the North Pole this summer. Four North Poles, in fact. But to get ready for the ordeal, he headed for the Yearsley Group coldstore in Seaham, England, where it's always -25[degrees] C--great for food, but not for people.

McKenzie is part of the Ice Warrior 4 Poles Expedition, led by British firefighter and explorer, Jim McNeill, which gives polar novices a chance to become polar explorers. Their task in 2006 is to reach all four North Poles in one season--including the Arctic Pole.

This pole is defined as the furthest point from land at the center of the Arctic Ocean and some 685 miles from the nearest coastline. It's part of the biggest, most ambitious human endeavor in recent polar history--two ice parties, 20 expedition members (17 trained novices) and more than 2,050 km of sea ice travel.

The teams will cover 250 miles to the Geomagnetic North Pole, situated on the Darling Peninsula of Ellsmere Island. Next is the Magnetic Pole, some 294 miles north of the Canadian coastline, then the Arctic Pole, a further 418 miles to the center of the Arctic Ocean. Finally comes the Geographic North Pole, 411 miles further on. The project involves a total distance of 1,123 miles, and about five months on the ice.

Shifting ice and hungry polar bears may be hazards for intrepid explorer McKenzie in the Arctic. The only shifting he saw at the Yearsley coldstore were the 3,000 pallets dispatched or received at the depot in any 24 hour period. The only "hungry bear" he saw was the coldstore manager Michael Nolan at lunchtime.

John Ainsley, general manager at the Seaham facility, commented: "This is one of the strangest requests for storage that we have ever had, but when we learned of Dale McKenzie's need, we were willing to play a part in helping him with his aims. Dale was in his tent in the coldstore for 24 hours. During this time we kept a close eye on him every hour, a luxury I suppose he will not have in the Arctic!"
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Title Annotation:Dale McKenzie
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 1, 2006
Words:353
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