A memorable Journey to Antarctica with Michael Tobin OBE

Trekking 100 miles to the South Pole for a noble cause

An entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a maverick and an author, Michael Tobin is one of the most successful people in our industry whose altruism is helping change lives. Over the years, Tobin’s benevolence and charity has helped funnel millions of dollars into various charities. From a Marathons Man to his recent journey to Antarctica, it displays great magnanimity.

He is the former CEO of Telecity Group. He is currently engaged in non-executive roles across four continents helping businesses within the TMT space to drive growth and profitability both, at an early stage and at an exit level. Tobin is also an author of two books, the bestseller ‘Live, Love, Work, Prosper’ and ‘Forget Strategy, Get Results’.

What better way to take on January 2020 than my most challenging escapade to date: an immense 100-mile trek across the most inhospitable place on earth, Antarctica, to the South Pole.

A journey to the remotest part of the world, our dream team was to complete 12 hours a day of incredibly challenging ice travel at around 10,000 feet above sea level in some of the coldest temperatures on Earth…which begs the question: why did I put myself through one of the most extreme tests of physical and psychological endurance?

I did it to raise money for the fight against brain tumours in children. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.

My challenge was a small sacrifice compared to the extreme pain and suffering that cancer causes.

I started planning six months in advance, and I couldn’t help but ponder on how Captain Scott would have prepared for his Terra Nova Expedition of 1910-1912 to the South Pole, one of the most ambitious scientific endeavors of its time.

Tragically for Scott and his team, their adventure didn’t end well. Not only were they beaten to the Pole by a Norwegian team, they all perished from the extreme cold on the return journey within just 12 miles of much-needed supplies! But what a valuable legacy Scott leaves behind…

As a society, we must salute Scott for his trailblazing tenacity. He paved the way for modern-day expeditions and fundraising missions, and indeed my own challenge.

When I start to consider the rudimentary tools and equipment that Scott and his team had available to them in the early 1900s, it really puts things in perspective.

Their clothing and equipment would have been made of natural materials, such as canvas, wool and fur. Snow goggles, an essential piece of kit, made of either wire-gauze and smoked glass, or a piece of leather framed with wood and a slit in place of the glass. Sleeping bags made of reindeer fur, which was effective in dry conditions but if the sleeping bags got wet or iced up, they soon became stiff and heavy to carry…

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