Gold Coast adventurers battling horrific weather, mental demons and polar bears

Gold Coast adventurer Geoff Wilson is playing a waiting game.

The vet with an appetite for breaking ridiculous world records is biding time in Greenland as he holds out for ideal weather conditions to conquer Nansen’s Cross.

The 46-year-old and his son-in-law Simon Goodburn, 27, are aiming to become the first Australians to cross Greenland from south to north and beat the fastest crossing record of 42 days.


In his latest blog, the 5th Element founder admits, after going through months of physical and mental preparation, it’s a ‘mental challenge’.

“Despite our best efforts, conjuring positive thoughts and remaining optimistic for a change in the weather projection, our pilot issued us with the decision; it’s still too unsafe to ferry us to the expedition start point in his helicopter,” Geoff writes.

Prior to embarking on his latest incredible journey (Geoff famously completed a world-record 53-day solo crossing of Antarctica in 2014 pulling a pink ‘boob sled’), the father of two spoke with myGC.

“I have improved my sled for this journey and the boobsled has been retired to the Alamanda Hospital,” Geoff explains, when reminscing on his previous achievement and comparing it to what lies ahead.

“It’s a different kind of cold, a wet cold coming off the Arctic Ocean. To some degree it’s going to be more uncomfortable than Antarctica.

“The complicated factor is the polar bear element. They’re an issue for the first and last 150km.

“The Greenland authorities want to minimise human-polar bear interaction, so they won’t let you do it solo.”

Here enters Geoff’s son-in-law, Simon.

“For some men it would be their worst nightmare (being with their son-in-law), but I’m very fortunate that I have a lot of respect for Simon and his ability in a wilderness environment,” Geoff enthuses.

“He did the first Torres Strait crossing with me and I remember a point when he thought he was absolutely broken and couldn’t do any more.

“At this stage he was just dating my daughter, but he’d asked me some time before if he could marry her… and I said to him at the time: “your body’s just telling you you’re spent but you’ve got at least 30 per cent left. We’re just 70km off the coast you’re going to keep moving and you’re going to make it. And besides, if you’re going to marry my daughter, you’re going to make it to PNG.”

They did. And it’s hoped that same motivation will help them push one another each step further as they deal with shocking conditions in Greenland, where they’re likely to endure -30 degrees Celsius for the best part of the trip.

But, it won’t be in vain, with pair aiming to raise $100,000 for the Jane McGrath Foundation which funds breast care nurses across Australia.

Interested in seeing if you can beat the boys across Greenland? Get a team together and give it a shot: follow this link.