The opportunity to take part in a six week scientific research expedition to Arctic Norway as an 18 year old boy proved transformative for Mark, unlocking self-belief and acting as the catalyst for a lifetime of challenge, adventure, self-discovery and scientific research.
Mark has subsequently spent more than thirty years of his life selecting and leading teams of people into some of the most remote and extreme environments on earth; from the frozen Arctic, which included two years living in small tents, and enduring four months of total darkness in an environment where human beings were not top of the food-chain, to the largest sand desert on the planet.
Some of the major projects that Mark has personally led or overseen are;
Crossing the Empty Quarter – on the trail of Bertram Thomas
Dec 10th 2015 – Jan 27th 2016
On January 27th 2016, after a 49 day journey across the Rub Al Khali, the largest desert on earth, our small team safely reached Doha in Qatar.
Cart Hauling in Oman
- 2015 – January, 21 Days
- Duqm to Fahud, Sultanate of Oman
A 21 day journey that saw three corporate teams haul an 8 wheeled cart from Duqm, on the east coast of Oman, to Fahud, so recreating a historic journey that took place in 1953 in the search for oil in Oman.
Salalah to Muscat by camel, foot and traditional boats
2011 – 80 days
- Salalah to Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
A 1,000 km journey from Salalah to Muscat to celebrate the 42nd year of the rule of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, multiple relay teams of young Omani’s using camels and traditional Omani sailing boats.
Empty Quarter Oman
- 2009 – January, 28 days
- Empty Quarter, Sultanate of Oman
A 28 day 4×4 based journey with Kiwi photographer John Smith, in search of the highest dune in Oman, close to the border with Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and the legendary Umm As Samim/Mother of Poisons quicksands.
Kayaking around Bahrain
- 2008 – seven days
A seven day kayak journey around Bahrain, including the Hawar Islands, meeting Dugongs, Ospreys and some wonderful people on the way.
Kayaking Around Qatar
2007 -12 days
- Qatar – Salwa to Khor Udayd
A 12 day kayak journey around Qatar in a Valley Nordkapp kayak, starting at Salwa on the border between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and ending at Khor Udayd.
Kayaking 1,700 km around the coast of Oman
- 2004 – 55 days
- Musandam to the Yemen border, Sultanate of Oman
A fifty five day, 1,700 km solo sea kayak journey from Musandam to the border with Yemen, with land support provided by Kiwi photographer John Smith.
Arctic Year – overwintering on Svalbard
- 2001 – 2002; 12 months
- Svalbard, Norway
A 12 month expedition supported by IBM computers and BES Expeditions, that saw us overwinter on Svalbard in small tents. The expedition, which was divided into three, four month phases, endured 4 months of total darkness and temperatures that fell to minus 37 degrees celsius. Expedition Patron was Colonel Andrew Croft.
In the Footsteps of William Edward Parry
- July 1998 – 21 days
- Melville Island, NWT Canada
An expedition on foot, and using canadian canoes as sledges to explore the uninhabited Melville Island in search of evidence of the 1820 expedition, led by William Edward Parry.
Crossing the Greenland Ice Cap
- 1994 – 28 days
Greenland – coast to coast
AA parachute assisted two man crossing of the Greenland ice cap from Ammassalik to Sondre Stromfjord, with Nigel Harling, losing 12 kg in 28 days in the process.
Whilst Muscat starts to warm up, sunrise at 7,700ft on Jebel Akdhar this morning was a crisp 2.5 degrees C …. @AngloOmaniSOC @UKinOman @IASArabia @MBIFoundation @OmanEmbassyUK
The prestigious @cosmos_dc is hosting a @heartofarabia_ expedition lecture this coming Tuesday evening. Details of more US, UK and Saudi lectures will be posted here shortly once finalised @SaudiBritishSoc @SaudiEmbassyUK @SaudiEmbassyUSA @RGS_IBG @RoyalScotGeoSoc @ExplorersClub
Snowflake or outlier? Resilience is evolving; listen to expert @joleadguru speak on the latest @heartofarabia_ podcast that goes live 0900 GMT tomorrow. Listen at https://t.co/jqeKd2uJGM @SaudiBritishSoc @UKinSaudiArabia @RoyalScotGeoSoc @RGS_IBG @ExplorersClub @AngloOmaniSOC
Shackleton and Philby epitomise resilience; are we less resilient today? Our third @heartofarabia_ podcast is out this Thursday March 23rd. Hear what the experts have to say-on Spotify, Apple and other platforms @RGS_IBG @RoyalScotGeoSoc @joleadguru @IASArabia @UKinSaudiArabia
Opened by HM Sultan Haitham in March 2018 the @OutwardBoundO desert training centre is 5 years old today. From UN peace-builders to Omani young people seeking to develop their skillset, 5,300 people have passed through the doors so far @OutwardBound @UKinOman @AngloOmaniSOC
Working with 5,000 people per year @OutwardBoundO has a key role to play in helping nurture a sustainable mindset amongst future leaders and decision makers. Join us on March 15th at the @omansustainabi1 week talks @OutwardBound @UKinOman @AngloOmaniSOC @RoyalScotGeoSoc @RGS_IBG
At 0900 GMT Thursday search for the @heartofarabia_ expedition launch podcast on Spotify or Apple to hear our Patron Princess Anne speak about journeying with purpose @AdventurousAud1 @UKinSaudiArabia @AngloOmaniSOC @PrepGrammar @SaudiBritishSoc @RGS_IBG @RoyalScotGeoSoc
Tomorrow sees the end of Q2 for @OutwardBoundO … with 100 courses the most successful quarter in our 14 year history, all driven by incredibly hard working Omani talent such as these 4 amazing young people @OutwardBound @UKinOman @AngloOmaniSOC