Twins to tackle four ice caps in three years

00:45, Aug 07 2014
Josh Lyon and Zac Lyon
ADVENTURE TWINS: Josh Lyon, front left, and Zac Lyon are planning to climb four ice caps in three years. Champion Waikato rower Rob Hamill, rear, is team campaign director.

They've sent camera-laden balloons to the edge of space for fun and huddled in a New World freezer in their undies, but Hamilton's adventure twins are about to embark on their coolest endeavour yet.

Zac and Josh Lyon, 22, are going to climb four ice caps in three years - Greenland, the South Pole, Patagonia and the North Pole.

August 17 will mark the start of their trip, with Greenland first on the list.

"It's going to be pretty chilly compared to home," Zac Lyon said.

Hamilton's recent frosty mornings will look tropical by comparison. Temperatures will plummet to minus 30 degrees Celsius at night and average between minus 5deg and minus 25deg during the day.

Champion Waikato rower Rob Hamill is serving as director for the boys' expedition, titled Four Caps, and has fed the boys wisdom from his time spent exposed to the elements.


"In the first few days on Greenland they will climb 2500m through ice falls and that's going to be a serious test for them," Hamill said.

The twins made Waikato Times headlines in 2012 when they sent a weather balloon, laden with two cameras, to the edge of space and captured stunning footage of Earth from over 31,000m.

Later that year they chilled out in a freezer of the New World supermarket at Te Rapa to test their limits, and spent last February in Norway in preparation for the biting conditions.

Zac Lyon said Norway gave them an insight into how their bodies adapted to the cold, "but it will be interesting to see how we go dragging 50kg sleds for eight hours a day".

Zac Lyon is currently completing his masters at the University of Waikato, while graduate student Josh Lyon spends his spare time working at Bivouac Outdoor.

Being in a tiny tent together with nothing but ice and snow for miles didn't bother the boys, but Zac Lyon said they would inevitably "get on each other's goat" at times.

"We've lived together for 22 years so we're pretty tight."

Zac Lyon is a hobbyist cook, although his tastebuds will be in for a dull holiday in Greenland, with high energy and minimal weight the priority.

"We'll be eating lots of fats, so blocks of butter and tasty things like that," Josh Lyon said.

Hamill said the boys were "ambitious but in a nice way," and he had full faith in their mission.

"I will be living vicariously through their adventure, as I hope other New Zealanders will be doing," he said.

The Lyons will document their travels on their website, and at

Waikato Times