Fifteen-Year-Old Parker Liautaud Falls Short of North Pole Goal
Sadly, Parker didn't make it quite as far as he hoped because ice had melted in an unprecedented way, which made it impossible for him to continue.
Parker explains, "In the past few years less and less teams have successfully been able to make it across because of the warmer temperatures. There just isn't a way to get there. There were days that were very warm, where the temperature got up to 30 degrees. Usually when huge plates of ice separate the water between them freezes, but this time the weather was just too warm."
Parker says that he and his guide did everything possible to continue with their journey, but an 8 mile stretch of water was the final straw. "We had to get picked up in a helicopter. The Arctic natives were likely the most shocked of anyone. They had never seen anything like this weather. The normally snow capped mountains were bare. From the air I could see that we would never have made it. There were endless breaks beyond this one that would have made it impossible."
Still, Parker's thankful that he was able to educate his peers about environmental issues and the Arctic's changing conditions. "The expedition wasn't a failure," he tweeted. "We have achieved what we set out to do, which is get you guys involved."