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