Updated: May 11
Most people who come to Ice Warrior do so as (almost) complete novices. Ordinary people many of whom never dreamed they could take part in a polar expedition. Some may have done a bit of camping in their youth and some, other outdoor activities such as canoeing, kayaking, climbing, wild swimming, mountain biking or similar. But all are reaching out for something more, something special, something purposeful and worthwhile. And that's what Ice Warrior is.
Almost all of them love the idea of developing themselves as well as really contributing to our knowledge of this wonderful Earth we live on.
Training and preparation to face what could easily turn out to be Mother Nature at her worst is a fascinating thing to watch and an empowering, cathartic, hugely positive thing to be involved in. I was asked about this whilst I was guiding a TV production company on Greenland, filming a series on climate change. Have a look:
If you join Ice Warrior you'll soon see that it’s all about attitude - be positive, optimistic with a dose of realism, brave-faced and pragmatic, brutally honest with yourself, empathetically honest with others. You can always change your attitude, if not your situation and you can practice for the situation which makes for excellent preparation. Face the embuggurances, solve the problems (individually and/or collectively) and end up feeling really good about yourself and your team and hey - what you have achieved.
When you're pushing your boundaries say to yourself "I’ll give it a go"…..and really mean it!
This will take you out of your comfort zone but let it, embrace it and learn from everything you can from the inspiring experience.
There is a word of caution though. Whilst pushing your boundaries is amazing and exactly what we do all the time, do not leap over them. By that I mean keep within your competence (and we measure that on each and every course) your knowledge, your skill set and keep accumulating experience. Pushing boundaries is about edging away at that you are yet to experience - but you have prepared for.
The polar regions are very unforgiving and indeed quickly life-threatening, for those who don't understand what they're facing, how to cope and cannot manage the risks. Simple situations can result in utter, sometimes tragic, disaster all too quickly.
If I have one attribute that I am quite proud of, it's a very good imagination and this helps me tremendously in thinking about the "what-ifs". "What if" this happens or that happens, forms the basis of our scenario based training and the more comprehensive the list of "what-ifs", the more you are prepared for what might actually happen.
If I had my way (and it wouldn't be a burden to the increasingly fragile polar environment), I would take everyone to witness the polar regions, for I wholeheartedly believe that Mother Nature's head of pressure, makes better people of us all.