First Vietnamese explorer races across Arctic on dog sled

By VnExpress   April 11, 2017 | 08:57 pm PT
He is also the first person from Southeast Asia to complete the 300-kilometer journey.

Vietnamese adventurer Hoang Le Giang has become the first person from Southeast Asia to conquer the Arctic by dog sled.

Along with a multi-national group of 26 others from 13 countries, Giang completed a 300km-trip between April 3 and 8.

Giang, 28, won a spot in the Fjällräven Polar event after an international round of voting that ended in December last year.


Hoang Le Giang, the first Vietnamese that attends the Fjällräven Polar event. Photo by Hoang Le Giang on Instagram

The mission involved steering dog sleds across the Arctic tundra, starting from Signaldalen, Norway, and spending nights camped out in freezing temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius, to reach the finish line in Väkkäräjärvi, Sweden.

Giang started mountain climbing in 2011, and has traveled to more than 30 countries, as well as the Himalayas seven times.

“Vietnamese people tend not to have confidence in their bodies, but in fact, everybody can climb mountains, even a person who has a heart disease like me,” he told Thanh Nien newspaper.

“The most important thing is regular physical exercise,” he said.

To prepare for his dream journey, Giang exercised for 15 hours per week and took a training trip to Alaska in February to adapt to the cold climate.

The Fjällräven Polar first took place in 1997 and was exclusively for professional trekkers and mountaineers.

Over the past three years, the event, organized by Swedish outdoor clothing and equipment supplier Fjällräven, has started accepting entries from ordinary people.

Only two Vietnamese people have made it to the North Pole. They are overseas Vietnamese Bui Duy Tam and Nguyen Van Khai, living in Canada and the U.S., who reached the pole in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

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