Polar explorer isn’t slowed by cancer diagnosis

Polar explorer, once diagnosed with terminal cancer, still lives for adventure


Crested Butte, Colorado — Eric Larsen lives for adventure.

One of the world’s leading polar explorers, Larsen has touched the South Pole and the North Pole six times each. He’s also the only person to journey to both and Mount Everest in the same year.

Had he ever considered slowing down?

“My old answer would have been a very robust, ‘No way,'” Larsen told CBS News. “It was never enough. I’m not so sure now.”

In 2021, at the age of 49, he was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer.

“Trying to think about what those few years would be like, with my family and my young kids. To say it was difficult is an extreme understatement,” Larsen said.

However, the prognosis was wrong. Larsen went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He also had 14 inches of his colon removed.

During his treatment, he never thought he would do this again: pack his bags and head back to the North Pole. But that is exactly what he is doing. 

“To see it again, when I thought I would never do anything again, for me, feels like the right thing to do,” Larsen said. 

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