The constraints of working in cold environments and the challenges they present allow most people to find or develop extraordinary parts of their character. If you are interested in challenging yourself in an extreme environment, get in touch to discuss your ideas.
< Crossing the sea ice at sunset, Greenland
Having worked for five seasons in polar regions on projects from 90° south to 72° north, I have a passion for working at high latitudes. Despite the rigor of having worked in temperatures below -40°C, sitting in tents for countless days waiting out storms and traveling for over 4000km on snowmobile, I find the experiences in these environments unmatched in beauty and depth. For some the appeal is obvious, but many need to taste the experience firsthand before they understand the addictive allure of the cold wilderness.
Roped skidoo travel in crevassed glacial terrain, Adelaide Island, Antarctica >
Many people who have visited the Alps and other mountain ranges dream of going further afield into wilder and more adventurous terrain. The Arctic or Antarctic often springs to mind but is quickly dismissed as too difficult or too remote.
The mountain ranges of Greenland are surprisingly accessible and make a superb location for a first polar expedition. Though these are very remote regions regular flights via Iceland and then relocation by helicopter or light aircraft make them accessible from European cities for trips as short as ten days. Likewise northern Scandinavia, Iceland and Spitsbergen are all readily accessible. With more substantial logistics more extreme locations such as South Georgia or the northern Antarctic Peninsula are also accessible with chartered boats.
^ Camp under Aurora, near Kuummiit, East Greenland
Between 2009 and 2011 I lived and worked in Antarctica as a field guide for the British Antarctic Survey and then again in 2015/16. This extraordinary experience provided a firm grounding in polar travel, expeditions and logistics. The majority of fieldwork was guiding scientists and other personnel into glaciated and mountainous terrain for climate related research, or for training and recreation. Significant sites I worked at include Alexander and Horseshoe islands, Larsen Ice Shelf, Shackleton Range, Sky Blu and South Pole. Other roles I worked included boat driver for the marine biology dive team and running the aircraft refuelling and logistics at a small ice runway airport at S75°.
< South Pole station (‘Dark Sector’ science laboratories)
In recent years I have worked both summer and winter in Greenland with a small groups of geologists and also with ski touring groups. The scientific projects were located in the North-East Greenland National Park, an area nearly twice the size of France with no permanent population. In Greenland, in addition to Antarctic or Alpine skills, we make much more extensive use of the sea-ice for long distance travelling. This infinitely variable landscape is both exciting and challenging. Lastly there is the ever present risk from Polar bears, one that requires careful judgement and preventative measures but drives home our delicate relationship to this extraordinary environment.