An intrepid Aberdeenshire father and son duo will take on sub-zero temperatures in an ambitious trek across Finland – using only cross country skis as transport.
Former commando Michael Byrne and his 15-year-old son Liam, from Stonehaven, are taking on the challenge as “essential training” for their future plans to cross Greenland.
The pair will be set off on Monday, and have given themselves 10 days to cover 124 miles west to east over Finland, where temperatures can dive as low as -37°C .
This is not the team’s first extreme expedition.
Liam became the youngest Scot to scale Mount Kilimanjaro at only 13, and in 2014 both father and son conquered Mount Elbrus in Russia.
Not content with that, the two travelled across Norway and Sweden in 2015 with the help of a team of huskies. For this trip, however, they have decided to step it up a gear and navigate the route purely on skis and on foot.
The pair will be trekking with special Nordic toboggans – ‘pulks’ – carrying all of the equipment they need to survive in the harsh conditions, such as tents, thermal sleeping bags, and the all-important jelly babies to keep spirits high.
In order to prepare for the epic journey, Mr Byrne and his son have been pulling tyres to activate the muscles they will be using on the trip, as well as running, cycling and gym work.
Mr Byrne, 45, said: “Liam is an amazing kid, and his love for wildlife and adventure never ceases to amaze me.
“Last year’s expedition was a good chance to see how Liam coped with the whole experience. His coping mechanism with the cold weather was fantastic, and he excelled beyond any expectations. That is why we decided to do it this time on foot and cross country ski.
“If this trip goes well over the 10 days, and as long as Liam gets good grades at school, we will look at crossing Greenland later on this year.
“This is only the beginning for us and our expeditions – I reckon after Greenland we will aim to trek out to both the North and South Poles.”