x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Children quiz Hayes on expedition

The National has invited schoolchildren to submit questions to Adrian Hayes. Today the nine-year-old pupils in Class 4B at Jumeirah English Speaking School in Dubai get their turn.

The National has invited schoolchildren to submit questions to Adrian Hayes. Today the nine-year-old pupils in Class 4B at Jumeirah English Speaking School in Dubai get their turn. Alexander Wiltshire: If one of you were to be injured, would you keep going or turn back? Adrian replies: When we got together in Canada we had to discuss this. If it is a minor injury we would obviously rest and wait, and try and get them through. We would tow someone if necessary. If it's a serious injury we agreed to get a plane to come in and pick them up, and yes, the other two would go on. If that happened to me, I wouldn't want to spoil it for the other two and I'm sure Derek and Devon would say the same thing.

Daisy Kirkaldy: Have you seen any bad evidence of climate change and what do you expect to see? Adrian replies: The Greenland ice cap is melting and it's melting rapidly, as you probably would have read on the website. Up here we are at 2,500 metres, sitting on another 2,500 metres of ice so we can't actually see anything. All the melt is happening below us and, most importantly, at the coast. This is where the ice melts, and it sort of melts down to the hard rock right down below us, and then it moves to the coast. This is where you see the most visible sign of melting for the Greenland ice cap.

Charlotte Grayson: Do you think you will make it on your due date, and if you don't, what trouble will you face? Adrian replies: Good question. I think we have learnt that any prediction we make of when we are going to reach any set point goes completely out of the window, so we just don't know. We brought 65 days of food and fuel. We are using it quite efficiently so we've got a little more fuel than 65 days' and a little more food. We are preparing for the worst. I don't know when we'll get there. If we get great winds we could be ahead of it. If we get bad winds we could be about the same time. But anything can happen on something like this. It's a long way, that's the whole thing, it's such a long way. You just don't know when you are going to meet certain positions and certain destinations.

Emma Corley: Now that you are deep into the quest, is it still as exciting as when you first started? Adrian replies: I think at the start when you're in the preparation phase and you're packing food and you're packing your sled and things it's quite exciting, you're apprehensive, you're really geared up to go. And then the first week or first 10 days you're really getting into the routine of things - getting into your systems, the system of cooking, collecting snow, putting tents up, sorting the sleds, honing the kites, various things - and then after that it becomes more routine. So we're in that routine period now that we're just doing our daily stuff - we're eating, we're drinking, we're sleeping, we're moving, when we can, and probably it's not as exciting as the early stages but you just get into this mind set.

Guarav Hans: How will the Greenland Quest impact on people's attitude to the environment? Adrian replies: We have put a lot into making it about this message - on the website, in interviews and in all of the press that we did before. If it changes 100 people then you've had an effect, if it changes 1,000 then you've had a little bit more, if it changes 10,000 then you've had a little bit more.

I think hopefully by the end of this, people will know a lot more about why the Greenland ice cap matters and also [about] this word "sustainability" and One Planet Living. So it's not just about the Greenland ice cap melting, it's what you all do about it. The whole point is we are trying to use this expedition, not just as three guys doing a physical challenge, but to do it for some good. And we hope we're achieving that.

* The National