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It is probably one of this world’s last great adventures. The Swedish adventurer Johan Ernst Nilson is setting out in 2011 on an expedition from the North Pole to the South Pole.
Within the space of 12 months, the Swedish adventurer Johan Ernst Nilson seeks to cover the 30,000 kilometers from the North Pole to the South Pole in a completely carbon-neutral manner, relying only on the power of nature and his own strength. The expedition starts on April 6, 2011 – the date was specially chosen as it marks the anniversary of what is presumed to be the first successful expedition to the North Pole, by Robert Edwin Peary in 1909. And 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the first expedition to the South Pole, which was reached by Norwegian Roald Amundsen on December 14, 1911, following a spectacular race.
Should Nilson actually make it to the South Pole he will be treading in the footsteps of these great pioneers. It is this pioneering spirit that he shares with Audi. A team of Audi engineers and designers is busy supporting Nilson, developing a super-lightweight sled for his expedition to the South Pole. Moreover, Audi is providing assistance in the form of technology and know-how: For example, the Swedish adventurer tested his equipment under extreme conditions in the Audi Wind Tunnel and cold chamber in Ingolstadt. “In a single day spent at the Audi Test Center I found out as much as I would have done on an entire trip across the Antarctic,” comments Johan Ernst Nilson.
Nilson will accomplish the first leg of his journey, from the North Pole to the northeastern tip of Greenland, using skis and a sled, before proceeding by dog sled on to Thule Airbase. From there, he will set sail for Ottawa, and then continue across North, Central and South America by bicycle. Here, too, Audi will be at Nilson’s side: An Audi Q5 will function as the expedition car and transport the camera team and journalists who are following his progress. Nilson will then sail to the Antarctic from Patagonia. For the last leg, across the icy expanses to the South Pole, he intends to rely on a kite-sail.
It is not just his pioneering spirit that links Nilson to Audi. He also champions social projects and environmental preservation. During the expedition’s leg through the United States, the Swede will be lecturing at various charity organizations and several Audi dealerships. In this way, he seeks to kindle more interest in environmental issues. Visit the online version of the Audi 2010 Annual Report to follow Johan Ernst Nilson on his journey from Pole to Pole and to find out all about the expedition and the joint preparations with Audi.