On 5th February 2000 Sir Ranulph Fiennes set off on the most direct - and most difficult - route to the North Pole from Canada. It involved towing a heavily laden sledge over 425 nautical miles of broken ice and open sea fractures. In fact, it is more like 900 miles because the ice drifts backwards. This is an account of the journey, which takes four to five months and during which Fiennes loses more than a third of his bodyweight.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Bt, OBE, is the world's most celebrated contemporary adventurer and explorer. He has been a leader of major expeditions for 27 years, becoming in 1993 the first man to walk unsupported across the Antarctic continent.