Tuesday, 26 September 2017 17:05

Polar Expedition Eating 101

Expedition food isn’t always known for being the most delicate or delicious. The ultimate goal is to provide your body with the fuel it needs to keep performing optimally (stay warm and energized) throughout the day. This means eating a mixture of fast burning and slow-burning calories at regular intervals throughout the day. Here are the basics.

Arguably the most important piece of kit you have regardless of activity, is your Footwear. This is no different when traveling in the polar regions. Blisters and frostbite can happen quickly and turn an otherwise thrilling expedition into an ordeal. Here’s what you need to know… 

In addition to all of the other challenges involved with traveling in the Polar Regions, the conditions can take a serious toll on your electronics. This can be dangerous; if your camera is frozen up or your batteries are dead, how will you get the shot of your buddy being dragged helplessly along by the dogsled to send to all his friends? After all, If there isn’t a picture of it, it didn’t happen. 

Here are some tips, tricks, and recommendations for caring for your electronics in the cold.

The team arrived back in Reykjavik this afternoon, looking forward to their final celebration dinner.  More showers ("hand sanitizer only goes so far" was overheard from one of the group), drying out clothing and gear, sleeping on a mattress, eating real food... all most appreciated and very well deserved.  Huge congratulations to all team members!!  We'll let them speak for themselves on their accomplishments and wish everyone safe travels home, till their next adventure!  Thanks to all for following along and we look forward to seeing you on another expedition! If you think you might enjoy this expedition for yourself why not join our 2018 team? Read more here

 

The team awoke to hard driving rain which started around 4 AM and did not let up all day.  They broke camp around 8 AM and had an extremely challenging day descending the glacier in the driving rain.  They were only able to ski for the first 200 metres, then had to switch to walking.  The first 2 hours they had snow, then it changed to bare ice for the remainder of the descent.  The conditions were such that their sleds were either sliding ahead of them or hitting them in the ankles.  If they put the brake on the sled, it would get stuck in the ice or cause so much friction that it was nearly impossible to maneuver.  They were able to enjoy some incredible landscape, having a lateral moraine on their right for much of the descent and seeing a number of moulins (a moulin or glacier mill is a roughly circular, vertical to nearly vertical well-like shaft within a glacier or ice sheet which water enters from the surface. The term is derived from the French word for mill, per Wikipedia)  Everything and everyone was soaking wet- whenever the sleds tipped over, water poured out.  Imagine trying to control a water filled sled on solid ice on a steep descent while trying to maintain one's own balance...   Needless to say, when they reached the bottom, everyone was absolutely elated- as well they should be!!  

They were picked up near the bottom of the glacier and had a spectacular 4 wheel drive from the edge of the glacier onto Highway 1.  When they reached their lodging, everyone thoroughly enjoyed a hot shower and a celebratory dinner.  Their rooms are draped with soaking wet clothing on every available surface and hanging area.  The theme for the day was "wet, slippery and exciting"!  They were too tired to call in an audio update for the blog but promise that they will leave a group update tomorrow so be sure to check back.

The forecast for tomorrow is for more rain...  But they'll be getting a protected ride to Reykjavik for their final night of well deserved celebration before heading home.

The last day of our ski trek across Vatnajökull

The photo does not capture the driving sheets of rain but does give a sense of the challenging conditions

Skiing down the last bit of Vatnajokull Glacier

Eric Rutherford's smile definitely captures the sense of accomplishment!

Want to join our 2018 Vatnajökull Expedition? Read more about it here.

The team called in from N 64° 08.243, W 016° 27.158.  They are hanging out in their tents, having just finished dinner and a poetry reading session (Robert Service always a favorite on all PolarExplorers expeditions!).  They are around 10 km from the edge of the glacier.  They had a fairly leisurely morning, starting on trail around 10 AM.   Overnight the winds were quite strong as had been forecast but they were comfortable in the protected campsite they had chosen with their wind walls. 

In the morning, the weather was beautiful with bright sun but they could see the weather moving in over the mountains.  They passed some beautiful ice falls and saw some lenticular cloud patterns that were stunning (see photo below) Around mid-day the clouds moved in to fully envelope them, they had 20' visibility at times and the snow became soft and wet as they were going down some steep inclines.  They alternated between skis and boots.  They stayed roped together all day as they were in crevasse territory.  They could see some crevasses in the distance but fortunately did not have any close encounters.  The temperature was around 20° F in the morning, increasing throughout the day to above freezing.  They did find that they had to shed some layers in order avoid over-heating.

They plan to get an early start in the morning and will get picked up around mid-day at the edge of the glacier.  All are looking forward to eating real food tomorrow!  They did express concern that the blog may be making this expedition sound too easy so be sure to listen to (or read the transcription) of Eric's audio update belowLaughing...

Beautiful clouds on our Ski traverse of Vatnajökull

Hello friends, family and followers.  This is Eric calling in from another day on the Vatnajokull Glacier here in Iceland.  It’s our second to last day actually.  We had a beautiful start to the day- bright and sunny as we started to descend down from the top of the glacier.  About halfway down, the clouds moved in and visibility went to almost nothing.  We traveled for about 7 hours, roped up the entire way, covering something like 15 kilometers, and now we are in our tents, and we're close enough to the road where we got a few bars of cell reception and were able to read the blog updates and heard how easy our expedition has been, but I just want to set the record straight.  This has been incredibly challenging and we have each saved each other's lives at least 5 times.  And it's been perhaps the hardest thing that all of us have ever done.  The weather has been trying, and this has just been an epic expedition all around.  So I know it sounds like we've been having fun, but it's really just been brutal and epic and challenging.  And Annie says fun, but for me just epic and brutal and challenging.  So we'll be back in civilization tomorrow if all goes according to plan.  So we will touch base then and thanks for following along.

Does this expedition sound fun to you? Want to join our 2018 Vatnajökull Expedition? Read more about it here.

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Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328

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