EXTREME freezing temperature adventurer Paul Fosh is set to hang up his snow shoes, his sub zero gear and pack away his pulk after completing his latest adventure in the Arctic wastes amid life-threatening sub zero conditions.

Paul has returned home to Monmouthshire after enduring almost unimaginable conditions while taking part in the annual Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra.

Paul Fosh
Paul Fosh in Lapland in 2022 (Paul Fosh)

Icy explorer Paul, owner of Newport-based property and lettings business Paul Fosh Auctions, is elated that he managed to overcome all obstacles to finish the gruelling event.

The determined 57-year-old successfully completed the 500km, about 315 miles, trek pulling all his gear, food and clothes in a pulk, in a challenge against himself and the elements.

The event started from the village of Overkalix, in the region of Norbotten, Sweden, on Sunday, March 3 and finished 10 days later.

Paul Fosh 2024 Montane Lapland Ultra
Paul Fosh at the start of the 2024 Montane Lapland Ultra (Paul Fosh)

Paul, who has competed in a range of 'ultra' events over the years, speaking on his return said: "That's probably it for me now. I've done what I set out to do and will now take it a bit easier. These events take a toll on you personally, family and others around you and I'm not getting any younger."

Pauk Fosh
Paul Fosh raising money for Llamau (Paul Fosh)

Paul, a man who has spent his life in property, is aiming to raise thousands of pounds for Wales-based homelessness charity, Llamau, by completing the event.

The extreme athlete, who has experienced highs of ultra success and some deep lows of disappointment in previous years having to pull out due to injury and illness, was determined the initials DNF (Did Not Finish) would not be chalked up against his name this time.

"It's not something I said or discussed before I set off this time but it's certainly something that was at the forefront of mind as the miles of snow and ice stretched out in front of me."

And conditions could hardly have been worse at the start with conditions too warm!

"The temperature was in the positive instead of minus so that meant that the deep snow, which is much easier to travel over when it's frozen, was very soft and powdery. Pulling the pulk over, or as it happens, through that was like hauling it through sand. Very draining and demanding. That went on for the first day and half which meant having to wear show shoes, which I don't usually wear and which alters your gait and walk, made it doubly difficult.

Northern Lights
The Northern Lights (Paul Fish)

"Happily temperatures soon dropped to near minus 5-minus, minus ten, which made it a little bit easier and better for getting the pulk to slide over the surface."

Paul, who didn't sleep for the first forty of so hours and afterwards only when it was dark, managed to get into a rhythm after the challenging start and was able to enjoy his surroundings including incredible displays of the Northern Lights.

"Despite the torture and agony of the event and the various extremes the wilderness does have its beauty, the Northern Lights being one and the utter peace, calm and tranquillity, being another."

Paul, who finished 12th in the 500km race out of an international starting line up 19 ice-hardened athletes in just over eight days, said the relentless training and deprivation of 12 hour training days ahead of Ultra events, including dragging car tyres around the trails in the Forest and Dean and Monmouthshire, had helped him make up his mind about his future.

Northern Lights
The Northern Lights (Paul Fosh)

"I think my age and the sheer torment, agony and relentless punishment of the training and the events themselves has caught up with me now. I was absolutely elated, ecstatic, to have been able to complete this one and to come out on a high. I gave everything and made sure that there was no unfinished business left out there in the Arctic waste.

"I felt very disappointed, disheartened, with some previous failures and this was something that was at the front of my mind as I ate up the miles in the wilderness. I took things steadily, going at my own pace, knowing that by successfully completing this event I could pack away my gear for good and take life a little less easier."

But Paul, a keen photographer, hasn't given up involvement in the events entirely as he is looking to offer his services as a volunteer in the future and also to become an official lens man for the event.

Paul stressed that raising funds for Llamau is ongoing and is urging people to continue to donate to the appeal

"Llamau is an incredible charity. If you have five minutes, please take a look at their website and work that they , it is truly life-changing."

No stranger to the extreme demands of Ultra events Paul, who is a long time supporter of Llamau, has competed in a variety of extreme challenges in the past.

Paul competed in 2015 in the Likeys Ultra in Canada when he was one of just eight to finish, coming fourth out of the 24 that entered. He also completed the 300-mile Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra in 2016.

The Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra event, which starts and ends in the village of Overkalix, in the region of Norbotten, Sweden, requires an individual to look after themselves, in temperatures which can plummet to -20C as they jog, walk and crawl over some of the world's wildest and coldest terrain. There can also be the threat of wolves or even wild bears.

The ultra eventer must carry their own food, water, sleeping gear and emergency supplies on a sled - a 'pulk' - the entire distance of the epic race.

Paul's medal
Paul's Medal (Paul F)

Competitors have 10 days to complete the challenge. The route crosses frozen rivers, lakes, and forests, while markers are regularly covered with fresh snow. The kit on the sled contains a sleeping system, consisting of a sleeping bag, light tent, stove, freeze-dried meals, first aid kit, emergency equipment and lots of layers of clothing

To support Paul please visit and donate at https://www.justgiving.com/page/paul-fosh-1708962833731?fbclid=IwAR0W2oEFr_X-n4N4HOrWBjAWiWhykPSJJMnKj98DcnbkKtQahWg_5omWB88