First of all maybe I should start a bit by explaining what is the Polartec Challenge. Each year the guys from Polartec decide to support a number of daring projects around the world, with the aim of encouraging exploration challenges around all the corners of the world. When I first found out about it, and when I scrolled the list of adventurers which have been nominated in the past years it was hard not to feel intimidated, with adventures spanning from ascents nominated for the Piolet d’Or to explorations of the most remote places on this planet. And it’s incredible that the Polartec Challenge has been going on for the past 20 years, and quite a number of big names have benefited from them.
As intimidating as it seemed, I also thought that it was worth a try, and from the moment when I decided that I will go on this trip the thought was somewhere in the back of my mind. And even though my expedition surely seems challenging to me(which basically means hard but doable at the same time) I had no idea if others also see it the same way, especially because it combines at the same time a bike touring expedition with alpinism, and taken separately each part isn’t something special in itself. The length of the expedition, the style and the combination is something a bit different though, and it’s not every day that you start a 15.000 kilometre journey on a bike from your doorstep with the goal of reaching a distant 7000 meter peak half way around the world.
The news came right after trying to raise some sponsorship for the expedition (without success up until now) and after trying to obtain some media partnerships (still ongoing and partially successful). And after hearing no for so many times it’s hard not to start doubting the entire adventure, or at least to doubt that it also seems interesting for other people (after working through the organisational details in the past weeks it seems even more interesting and challenging to me). And I still find it hard to believe, but it surely did come like a breath of fresh air in the maze of getting all the needed equipment and I was starting to cut of the list the things which I could do without for the journey.
And so I have one extra reason to write everything also in English besides Romanian, and to tell a good story through photography and through writing. A big thanks once again to Polartec.
As a side-note I find it very interesting that in Romania (just as in other post communist countries) is that lot of pieces of equipment are named after the first large name which became known in those countries. For example every burner is called primus, every running shoe is called adidas and last but not least every fleece jacket is called Polar.
The full press release can be found here.