A successful Arctic season, activity in non-polar environments, a busy Antarctic season ahead and a tragedy in the Arctic prompts a proposed Manual of Thin Ice Travel.
The polar community was shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of Dutch polar explorers Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo.
Philip and Marc's tireless pursuit for better scientific knowledge of the polar regions and the impact of climate change on their fragile environments was the duo's primary objective as they skied toward their final horizon. As a legacy to their work and lives, IPGA is currently drafting a 'Manual for Thin Ice Travel' that we hope will assist current and future polar guides in remaining safe as they traverse the ever-changing polar landscapes.
Annie Aggens IPGA Committe Member
Annie from Polar Explorers reports that all is well. In September & October Keith Hegger, Rick Sweitzer, Eric Lillstrom and Chris Paustian are making sure they get enough vitamin D by guiding sea kayaking trips in Italy in Greece.
In November Annie (and maybe Rick) will be guiding the Shackleton Crossing of South Georgia Island and checking in on the Falklands.
In December Rick will be guiding a Kili trek before heading to New Zealand for some R&R with his son who now lives there.
The South Pole is in the plans and Annie hopes to see some of you at the bottom of the world in a few months. And then it all starts again!
Dixie Dansercoer IPGA Master Polar Guide
Dixie admits it feels great to be able to concentrate on the developmental aspects of going on an expedition, focusing on equipment and training of clients while delegating all the rest to the partners he works with: Polar Experience and Polar Offsites. Dixie no like office work, Dixie like ice, snow, glaciers …
2015/2016 is pretty much full with a variety of activities:
In the fall, it's all about preparations, initiation courses for clients & training.
November & December guiding for White Desert in Queen Maud Land Antarctica.
January: guiding on the Langjökull glacier in Iceland, Switzerland training for group of 18 polar novices, Polar Offsite in Lulea, Sweden.
February: lecturing on an icebreaker to the Antarctic Peninsula and climbing the Detrooz and Belgica glaciers & kiteboarding for the fun of it. Guiding a group of 10 people across the Vatnajökull in Iceland.
March: three guiding trips in Spitsbergen for Polar Experience
April: Last Degree to the North Pole guiding for Icetrek Expeditions.
Preparations are also well on their way for a 2017 North Pole to Franz Jozef Land expedition with Alain Hubert, celebrating the 20th anniversary of their first crossing of Antarctica in 1997-89, which in turn was the 100th anniversary of Adrien de Gerlache’s Belgica expedition.
Conrad Dickinson IPGA Polar Guide
Conrad is enjoying some sun on the old weary bones this summer and diving in Mozambique, from where he is unable to send any images.
2015 has been good so far and he successfully led one gentleman to the South Pole. He had survived 3 cancer operations, which made for an interesting trip.
March and April was largely spent in Norway experiencing some unseasonal weather...at one stage towing 3 sleds and 2 clients with a 5 metre sail (interesting going downhill!). He had to return home early as his wife Hilary was in Nepal during the earthquakes, but fortunately was OK.
2016 sees a continuation of Conrad's love affair with Norway... he and Hilary are returning to attempt 'Norge på Lang' (2700km end to end), starting on January 1st. No sled, just rucksacks. 'We will see if old body holds up' says Conrad.
Christoph Höbenreich IPGA Polar Guide
Christoph just returned from two weeks in Iceland, touring around in a'monster van'.
Departing Europe beginning of November and flying to Antarctica via Cape Town, Christoph's next expedition is an international exploratory ski & mountaineering expedition to Queen Maud Land.
His team of four (1 Austrian, 1 German, 2 Norwegians) will travel for three weeks and is in Christoph's favourite polar travel style: travelling by ski, pulling pulks with tents and food among the mountains and climbing whenever and wherever they feel the desire.
The team will leave the rather well known and explored mountain ranges and try to enter some new mountains. It is an expedition in true adventurous spirit, far off the beaten track and into pure polar wilderness. Christoph hopes to meet up with Eric Philips as he flies out of ALCI Airbase as Eric comes in.
Børge Ousland IPGA Master Polar Guide
Børge and Ousland Exploration had a busy year. In May they ran two Greenland crossings, Bengt Rotmo led the ski trip as usual, and Sigrid Ekran, twice world champion in dog racing, led the dog trip. Both trips went very well, despite challenging weather at times.
Also in May Børge crossed the Stikine glacier in Alaska from North to south, together with Frenchman Vincent Colliard. The expedition was part of the Ice Legacy project, to cross the twenty largest icecaps in the world.
Bengt is currently crossing Greenland on their yearly autumn crossing and reports good progress and conditions.
Next for Ousland Exploration is a crossing of the Northern Patagonia icecap in Chile in mid- October, one of their favourites. 'We have done this trip annually since 2000' reports Børge, 'and this wild and beautiful area never stops to amaze us.'
Together with ALE they also have a last degree to the South Pole, and after xmas it is time again for their 'expedition school', the crossing of Finnmarksvidda in Arctic Norway. This trip is already sold out but they are considering running two trips back to back. On this trip they teach the basics of winter survival, to prepare for bigger expeditions, or just to learn and be able to enjoy what they regard as the most beautiful time of year!
Eric Philips IPGA Master Polar Guide
In April Eric guided a team within the last two degrees to the North Pole. Two of the team were Australian wounded soldiers who also skied with him to the South Pole as part of UK charity Walking With The Wounded's South Pole Allied Challenge. The third team member was a Moroccan national, the first Moroccan to climb Mt. Everest and to ski to the North Pole.
Prompted by sales of Icetrek's Flexi ski bindings and polar sleds to the US and Canadian militaries, Eric formed a new company, Polarama Pty Ltd, an umbrella to Icetrek Expeditions and Icetrek Polar Equipment. The Norwegian army has also expressed interest in Icetrek's polar products prompting a recent visit to Oslo.
In November Eric will guide his annual South Pole Emperor Penguin Odyssey with clients from China. Working with an agency in Beijing, this trip has run every year since 2010.
Doug Stoup IPGA Polar Guide
It has been a busy summer for Doug as he prepares for the Antarctic season. He will be leading 120 skiers to the Antarctic Peninsula on ICE AXE Expeditions' annual Ski Cruise.
Doug has some lectures scheduled for Shackleton's Centenary this year and some guided ski trips scheduled to Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Morocco, North Pole, Iceland, Kamchatka and Svalbard through the spring.
He's also been busy working on his own television show and working on some climate change events on the road to the December COP21 in Paris.
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Thanks to all the our contributors. Happy guiding!
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