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Thursday, 30 April, 1998, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
North Pole party for 'Grand Slam' Briton
Hempleman-Adams
Mr Hempleman-Adams had to shoot a polar bear as it charged him (Photo: Rune Gjeldenes)
A British explorer is celebrating success at the geographic North Pole after becoming the first person to complete the adventurers' Grand Slam.

David Hempleman-Adams has now reached all four poles - geographic and magnetic, north and south - by foot and climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents.

En route to the North Pole
The icy grip of the North Pole (Photo:Rune Gjeldenes)
The 41-year-old from Swindon, Wiltshire, and his Norwegian partner, Rune Gjeldenes, 26, left Ellesmere Island, in Canada's Arctic, on skis on March 5. Their 54-day trek has taken them across 600 miles of polar ice.

John Perrins, the expedition manager, speaking from base camp in Resolute, Canada, said the two were tired but in high spirits.

"They're at 89.999 degrees, which basically tells me that they're at the pole because you won't get 90 degrees on the satellite reading."

The record attempt began 18 years ago when Mr Hempleman-Adams climbed Mount McKinley in North America. Some four years later, he became the first person to walk solo and unsupported to the magnetic North Pole.

Now, he can relax and mark the extraordinary achievement with a party at the North Pole where he will be joined by his wife and eight-year-old daughter, who are being flown in by the trip's sponsors.

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