Pangaea : learn, act, explore

Since October 2008, Mike Horn has been travelling the world on his aluminium sailboat, Pangaea. He takes with him young people of all nationalities to help them discover the beauty and the fragility of our natural environment.

Petzl is a partner of the Pangaea project. 


An expedition to explore nature

The Pangaea project is a four-year expedition across every ocean and continent on the globe. The expedition is led by explorer Mike Horn who takes groups of young people with him called the Young Explorers.

The objective is to show the Young Explorers the most beautiful places on the planet and to show them the fragility of the ecosystems and the impact that human activity has on the environment. The voyage of each group of Young Explorers is an opportunity to teach them to seek solutions to an environmental problem, to clean the area, implement measures of protection and collect data for scientific research.

Base camp for this permanent expedition is the aluminium boat Pangaea, designed and built especially for this project.
Through the Pangaea Project, Mike Horn hopes to train future ambassadors for the planet: "We will make this journey together, driven by our passion and a common objective. I believe that we must begin to take concrete action to ensure that our planet is respected for future generations." – Mike Horn.


Recruitment program for the Young Explorers

Young Explorers is the name given to the young people who join Mike Horn during the various phases of the Pangaea expedition. They are between 13 and 20 years old and are selected primarily on their dossier, followed by a 10-day stage with Mike Horn's team in Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland.

The selection is based on several criteria: physical and social capacity, ability to communicate within a group, ability to lead a project to fruition, and a spirit of initiative and enterprise.

Since the project began, six groups of Young Explorers have already joined Mike Horn:

  • Antarctica (November 2008)
  • New Zealand (May 2009)
  • Malaysia (October 2009)
  • India (January 2010)
  • Pakistan (June 2010)


The action of the ambassadors of the planet following their return

During each expedition, experts and educators join the group to share their knowledge of the flora and fauna with the young people.

Upon their return, the Young Explorers share with their communities what they have learned of the problems the world now faces, and the solutions they have discussed.

In the Pangaea project's medium- to long-term planning, numerous projects and concrete actions will be undertaken by the new ambassadors of the planet.

  All the projects on the Pangaea website


All the Pangaea expeditions



- July: selection of the Young Explorers for the expedition to China.

- August:
expedition to China.

- October:
selection of the young people for the expedition to Kamchatka.

- December:
expedition to Kamchatka.


Three expeditions planned:
- to the North Pole

- to Cambridge Bay,

- to Vancouver.


- Amazonia,

- Chilean Patagonia,

- Kenya.


Mike Horn, expedition leader


Mike Horn is an explorer. He first gained recognition in 1997 for his descent by hydrospeed of the Amazon River (South America). Following that was the Latitude Zéro project from June 1999 to October 2000, which established his reputation as an adventurer beyond compare. 

Alone, and staying within 100 km from the equator, Mike Horn:

- sailed across the Atlantic,

- made the first crossing of the Amazon rainforest on foot,

- sailed across the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

- crossed Africa on foot and by bicycle.


A 15-month adventure of 40,000 kilometres, which made him one of the most experienced explorers of our time.

Then, in 2002, Mike Horn began a circumnavigation of the globe following the Arctic Circle on foot, ski, kayak and bicycle. This expedition, Arktos, lasted two years and three months.

In 2006, together with Borge Ousland, they were the first men to reach the North Pole under the darkness of polar winter. The team travelled 1000 kilometres across the ice in polar night.

Empowered by these experiences, and alerted by the environmental threats that face our planet and ecosystems, Mike Horn wanted to find young volunteers who are interested in the wonders of nature that he so admired during the course of his expeditions. Because of this, in October 2008 he launched the Pangaea project.


Petzl's partnership with Pangaea

Petzl is technical partner of the Pangaea project.

As such, Petzl provide the necessary equipment for the entire team, which enables them to move safely in the variety of environments they encounter: in the mountains, underground, in canyons, etc.

For each expedition, Petzl also provides a mountain guide for Mike Horn and the Young Explorers to not only ensure the safety of the group but to also share his knowledge about the hazardous environment.


Erwan Le Lann, Petzl's point man for Pangaea


Erwan Le Lann is doubly involved in the Pangaea project.

As Promotion Manager at Petzl, he is the one who manages the relationship with Mike Horn and his team.

And as a mountain guide, he is also the man that Petzl provides to the young Explorers to ensure the security of the group. 



Erwan, why have you chosen to join the partnership with Pangaea?
"Petzl has been a partner of Mike since his early exploits as an adventurer. When he decided to turn to future generations to share his experience Petzl signed on to the project enthusiastically.
During the past four years of expeditions, the young people have found themselves in all types of hostile terrain across the planet. Petzl makes the tools to help people progress in this type of terrain whether it's on the glaciers of Antarctica, in the high mountains of the Karakorum, in the caves of Borneo or in the forest of New Zealand."

During the expeditions, you are on the ground with these young people. What is your role?
"On the expeditions with the young people, in addition to ensuring the safety of the group, my role is to help the young people learn the basics of security they should have in the different environments they encounter and to share with them my own experience with nature that I have acquired during the course of my travels."

How would you describe Mike Horn?
"Mike Horn is a locomotive that travels faster than the speed limit. He is a man who acts and who does not like to waste time with idle chatter.

To work with him, we must understand that he does not speak. He feels things and makes his decisions without really explaining. But everything he does and thinks is towards a single destination. He sets the goal."

What is your personal view about Pangaea?
"As a mountain guide for more than ten years I have also personally spent a lot of time in nature. I am now convinced that our lack of connection with nature is the cause of the environmental abuses in our societies.

The Pangaea projects are some of the most beautiful environmental actions of which I know in the sense that we directly inspire the future generation who will be making the decisions about the world of tomorrow."


More information:

- on Mike Horn's website
- on the Pangaea website