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We have been funding Polartec® Challenges since 1991 with over 100 expeditions around the world!

The 2011 Polartec® Challenge Grant recipients are:

Northern Russian Arctic Expedition

Mike Libecki Grant Recipient
  • Mike Libecki

Libecki, who has explored many of the last remaining corners of virgin Earth to climb dozens of first ascents, will this time travel to a remote and restricted corner of northern Russia above the Arctic Circle to climb walls that have never been explored before. Libecki will be dropped off by a Russian icebreaker and then have to ski and paddle over 50 miles of sea ice and open ocean on a homemade rig to reach his climbing destination. The trip will be the culmination of over six years of planning and reconnaissance. mikelibecki.com/


Circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island

Jon Turk Grant Recipient
  • Jon Turk
  • Tyler Bradt
  • Erik Boomer

Jon Turk, Tyler Bradt and Erik Boomer that will together attempt the first complete circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island, one of the closest points of land to the North Pole. The expedition will travel over 1,400 miles across treacherous moving sea ice, glaciers and rocky coastline using kayaks, skis and sleds to complete the journey. www.jonturk.net


6,135-meter First Ascent in the Indian Karakoram

Janet Bergman Grant Recipients
  • Janet Bergman,
  • Zoe Hart
  • Kirsten Kremer

The all-star team attempting the 6,135-meter unnamed peak consists of pro climber and Polartec Athlete Advisory Board member Janet Bergman, Chamonix-based mountain guide Zoe Hart and Alaskan guide Kirsten Kremer. The unnamed peak is located on the eastern edge of the ‘Line of Control’ between India and Pakistan and the team plans an alpine style ascent to the summit in one light, fast, free push.


Ascents in Pakistan's Charakusa Valley

Kelly Cordes Grant Recipients
  • Kelly Cordes

The final grant recipient, Kelly Cordes actually received the award last year, but had to postpone his expedition because of an injury. Cordes, who is also a member of Polartec’s Athlete Advisory Board, and his climbing partner Kyle Dempster will travel to Pakistan’s Charakusa Valley, home to massive technical peaks including K6 and K7, along with scores of unclimbed rock and ice objectives, to attempt the first ascent of an unnamed rock spire. The 6,200-meter spire, near K7, has been attempted several times and its virgin summit remains an objective that requires the rare combination of high-end rock skills, tenacity and high-altitude mixed-climbing. kellycordes.wordpress.com




About the Polartec® Challenge Grant
The annual Polartec® Challenge Grant seeks to assist frugal, low impact teams who respect the local culture and environment and serve as role models to outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. Applications are evaluated on the basis of their vision, commitment and credibility. Past recipients of the Polartec® Challenge Grant include outdoor pioneers and adventurers such as Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, Steve House, Marko Prezelj, Andrew McLean and John Shipton.

Polartec® Challenge