'Frankly Nutty' Arctic Adventure Ends in Tragedy

Philip Goodeve-Docker dies just days into trek across ice cap

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted May 1, 2013 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Three British friends set out on "one of the great polar challenges"—a 400-mile trek across the planet's second largest ice cap—last Thursday. By Saturday, one of them was dead, reports the Telegraph. Philip Goodeve-Docker and his companions planned what Goodeve-Docker referred to as a "frankly nutty adventure": an up-to-35-day journey across Greenland in which they were to drag their own supplies and share a single tent. That tent, however, was reportedly blown away in a rare and brutal snowstorm on Friday.

They radioed for help, but it didn't arrive until the next morning, local police tell the Guardian. The expedition was intended as a charity fundraiser, and only one of the men had Arctic experience. Goodeve-Docker reportedly prepared for it through exercises like dragging tires, and wrote of the dangers the trio faced on his fundraising website: "polar bears (not cute and cuddly), crevasses up to 500 meters deep, polar winds, [and] temperatures of 5C to -50C." Says a Greenland police official, "They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time." Goodeve-Docker's companions are said to have suffered frostbite and shock.

Glaciers and icebergs of the Greenland ice cap are seen over Greenland.   (AP Photo/John McConnico, File)
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