I had brunch with polar explorer Ben Saunders and serial entrepreneur Oli Barrett the other day, and Ben -- who's already skied alone to the North Pole (watch him tell the story on TED.com) -- described his future plans. Ever since Peary arrived there in 1909 (this claim is still controversial, but in principle next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the first explorers reaching the NP), polar treks have always been a matter of "first": the first to get there, the first to get there alone, the first to get there alone unsupported, etc. But the other day, discussing about the recent announcement by scientists that for the first time in recorded history the NP may be ice-free this September -- a thought struck us. Ben is thinking about skiing to the North Pole again next year, and if he does, he may well become the last man to ski there. Because it's not sure that there will be enough ice re-forming in the future to ski all the way from Canada or Russia to the Pole.