Throughout his fascinating life, Mark Wood has served in the British Army, worked in the fire and rescue service and led teams through major polar and mountain expeditions as an explorer. Operating throughout the Arctic Circle, the Himalayas, Antarctica and Alaska, he has developed a passion for venturing into the frozen, wild regions of the planet. Now, two books featuring images and tales of his unique adventures have just been published.
Having completed over 30 major expeditions around the world, including a solo journey to the South Pole followed by a 200-mile solo crossing of the Arctic Ocean to the North Pole, Mark’s books Solo Explorer and Rock & Ice outline some of his most incredible experiences.
The first book describes Mark’s attempt to walk by himself to both Geographic Poles, while the latter features stunning images of expeditions from the past ten years. It includes shots of him navigating crevasses and battling through temperatures of -50 °C.
Over time, Mark has grown to have a huge respect and appreciation for the power and beauty of nature, something that comes across in both works. “When I first got into exploration I did it purely to see how far I could push myself physically and mentally, so it was for selfish reasons built on an ego. I have always had a respect for the environment and for travel, but this wasn't my reason for making exploration a life-changing career. Within the first few years of then operating within the Arctic Circle, mainly around the Canadian High Arctic, I slowly began to truly appreciate the true worth of the areas I was travelling through,” Mark told Lonely Planet.
In recent times, Mark’s message has turned more towards respecting the environment. “I don't know whether it's age or the amount of experience with expeditions, but travel has changed me. I am much more aware of the gift humans have to make remarkable changes to the planet balanced with the way humans can be so ignorant towards life in general – whether it is human, environmental or animal life. But my responsibility as an explorer is to keep exposing the worth of the planet.”
Through educational programmes, Mark has been able to reach millions of students around the world. On the top of Mount Everest Mark was able to connect via Skype in real time to 10,000 young people to use it as an educational opportunity.
More information about Mark is available at his official website.