MILAN : To the Pole by Foot

Starting from Russia's Severnaya Zemlya islands in Siberia on Wednesday, Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner and brother Hubert will attempt to become the first men to walk unaided to the North Pole. The 1,200-mile expedition will take them from Siberia to the pole to Cape Columbia, Canada's northernmost tip.

Others have walked to the pole, but not without the aid of supplies brought in by dogs, ships or aircraft. The Messners say they will each pull a sled holding their supplies. They will carry a tracking device so that their location can be recorded at all times. Reinhold Messner estimates they will have three months to complete their journey before the ice around the pole begins to break up.

Norwegian Borge Ousland walked to the pole last year without technical aid but made the return trip by plane.

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