Do you have the ambition to take part in a Polar Expedition but are hesitant because you lack experience? We interviewed one of our most recent North Pole Last Degree team members, Danny Lubert, who was in this same position and asked him to reflect on his first expedition experience.
Q: What led you to take part in a North Pole expedition?
A: I’ve always had the wish to go to the North Pole, but I’d talked about it for years and not done anything. Eventually a friend told to me stop talking about it and do it and two days later it was booked!
Q: In hindsight, how does the actual experience compare to how you imagined it would be?
A: Much more of a life changer. Ely (the Polar Shakedown Training in Ely, Minnesota) was a very tough baptism into ice trekking and camping and I was terrified a couple of weeks before the real thing. But… once I had done it, I felt and still feel this strange calmness and sense of pride that just isn’t going away. Which is lovely.
Q: Did you feel mentally and physically prepared for the expedition? How would you change your prep time if you had it to do over?
A: Physically I felt 99% prepared, I did all the training, made sure my back was in good shape and had all the right clothing and equipment. Mentally, I can honestly say no, I wasn’t prepared, but unless you’ve done it already, how can you be?
Q: What was the most difficult part of the expedition?
A: 100% no question for me! Going to the toilet (no. 2’s) without any accidents and without your underpants filling up with snow! it’s an impossible juggling act of pre-prepared toilet paper, pre-warmed wet wipes, hand warmers and gloves!
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering the North Pole Last Degree?
A: Do it! Make sure you listen to instructions at all times, get all your kit ready, do the training, trust your leaders and then go and have the time of your life.
Q: What were your impressions of Barneo Ice Camp?
A: Probably the most insane square mile on the planet, the mess tent is like the bar in Star Wars! You can bump into anyone. But behind the madness it is a very well organized, beautiful and caring place.
Q: When will be your next Polar Expedition?
A: Jan 2017 South Pole, can’t wait
Q: Additional thoughts?
A: Yes, the weirdest part is that people talk to me now as if I have completed an arduous and life threatening expedition and in reality me and a few mates just went camping and skiing in the snow and ice and had a great time.
About Danny: Danny is a 51 year old father or four wonderful boys, married to Charlotte for 20 years. He grew up in Crystal Palace, South East London, lived in Spain, Dubai and is now based in Los Angeles, USA. He is a partner in The First Group, a property development and management company with HQ in Dubai. He is a big Arsenal FC supporter.