A reflection

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For the past month I have been consumed. I have been doing the day job, building my arm muscles, discussing the expedition with corporates and working to promote the Ice Warrior project. It has been busy, but worth it.

On Wednesday 16 July, we will launch the Pole of Inaccessibility expedition at Royal Geographical Society. The event starts at 5pm with a talk on our quest, followed by a conversation between Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Polar Jim at 6.30pm. Further details here http://t.twi.to/kD4w/bL6sI

When I signed up for basic polar training back in February, it was all about ‘survival’ for me. I needed to survive a week in the Arctic. Little did I know that 6-months later I would be completely consumed with the Pole of Inaccessibility and the thought of reaching the centre of the Arctic Ocean.  When I am not at work, it is all I think about….

Over the past 6-months I have been learning how to become a safe, competent polar explorer. I still have a long way to go, but already I have learnt:

  • How to build a snow trench
  • How to drill bindings into a new set of skis and measure them so they are ‘just so’
  • I have learnt that if I put my mind to something, I can do it
  • I am stubborn – sometimes when your body lets you down, you need your mind to get your through. A pulled shoulder muscle taught me this when attempting to ski up hill
  • I can ski … it’s a mini miracle
  • I have learnt a few knots …the alpine butterfly, fig 8 and the double fig 8, the clove hitch, the munter, half hitch, the stopper and the sheet bend. I am yet to conquer the Thompson
  • I am learning about ice science. I did marine environmental science at university but ice science lessons escape me – it’s technical

I have also met some amazing people; people from all walks of life that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.  My team mates are the best – hearts of gold, with a hint of mischievousness. I am looking forward to the official launch, furthering my training and the run up to February next year. I have a lot to learn and do, but it is exciting.