A Clare man and veteran of the French Foreign Legion has set off for Western Greenland to undertake a charity 250km solo-trek along the Arctic Circle Trail.
Dermot Cosgrove from Ennis, who now lives in Kilkee in West Clare, joined the French military at the age of 19.
The former soldier has spent the past 20 years working in remote parts of the word, mostly Africa.
The Artic Circle Trail is located 35km North of the Arctic Circle and will take the keen hiker from the West Greenland town of Sisimiut, cross country to the Russell Glacier and back to the town of Kangerlussauq.
“The Arctic Circle Trail is one of the remotest in the world with only a very small number doing it every year. As the guy who has been advising me explained, in six trips on the ACT, he’s only met other hikers on two of those occasions,” Dermot said.
Dermot left Dublin for Copenhagen this morning and will continue onto Greenland tomorrow.
He will begin his epic expedition on Tuesday and hopes to raise funds for Irish Dogs for the Disabled.
The Cork-based charity provides assistance dogs to physically disabled people, many of whom are children.
It’s the only charity in Europe who train specialist stability dogs that help people to walk. Dermot's sister Clare Cosgrove-Mungovan fosters dogs for the charity.
It costs €15,000 to raise, train and care for an assistance dog for over a lifetime. Dogs are provided to disabled partners free of charge and we receive no government funding.
Dermot has set a target of €15,000 for this charity undertaking and has already raised over €9,000.
The trek is expected to take Dermot about 10 days with 170km of the 250km route traversing wild rugged tundra. Dermot will also have to carry over 35kgs of survival equipment and food.
While he won’t have any telephone communications where he will be, Dermot will have an emergency beacon in case he requires urgent assistance.
"The first thing I will do when I get to Greenland is to check in with the local police and search and rescue services to let them know where I will be and how long I will be out for,” Dermot said.