TWO MEN from Wrexham and Flintshire are taking on a 100km route across the Arctic in aid of a cancer centre.

Carl Little, from Rhos, and Mark Keen, from Hawarden, will be part of a 16-strong team that will attempt to traverse a 100km route across the Arctic in snowshoes.

Their start point will be from Kungsleden Base Camp, Abisko, northern Sweden, 250km inside the Arctic Circle. They will be walking in the harshest of environments, having been taught various artic survival techniques such as ice-breaking drills, self-rescue, building emergency shelters, snow holes, and foot care.

They are doing it in support of NHS Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, which not only does incredible work with cancer sufferers throughout Wales, but also contributes to research into cancer on a wider scale. The leader of the team, Simon Ford, lost his partner to cancer. She was brilliantly supported throughout  by the Velindre Cancer Centre. 

Carl, aged 35,  said: "I head out on March 13 to Kiruna, Sweden, and then up to our base camp in Abisko where we will be heading back to Kiruna via the Kundsleden trail on foot totally unsupported, and carrying what we need to survive spread between our backs and three pulks (sledges). This means hiking with roughly 15kg to 20kg of weight also. We intend to return to the UK by March 22.

"We will be faced with such challenges as potential temperatures of -40°c, white outs, cold injuries, blisters, hypothermia, exhaustion, snow blindness, mentally challenging times, and many other possible challenges.

"I was put on the team for this challenge around July 2023 and since I’ve been working hard to prepare myself both physically and mentally. In preparation for this challenge I have changed my diet, and cut out alcohol completely. I’ve been training daily by walking or running the four-mile trip to work and/or back, and at weekends I hike or [go] mountaineering, usually around 10 to 20 miles, sometimes solo, sometimes with other members of my Arctic team."


Carl and Mark have so far raised nearly £7,000 between them. Their respective fundraising pages can be accessed via and

Mark, aged 46, added: "I suffer from the worst blisters, have a dodgy right knee, bad hip, I get gout occasionally and I have a huge hole in one of my molars and I'm concerned about how it will be in the cold. Other than that I’m fighting fit! 

"But let’s be honest, there are millions worse off and whilst I’m still willing and able to do these things I will. Last year at the same time of year the team experienced temperatures of minus 50 degrees. In regards to wildlife, we could come across both brown and polar bears, wolves and many other various mammals.

"I’m really looking forward to the walk as it’s a fantastic challenge made all the better knowing we are raising funds for an amazing cause."