Our first Polar Shakedown of the year is officially underway! The team gathered just outside Ely, Minnesota yesterday afternoon. Team members traveled from all corners Of the US, as far away as India, and as near as 15 minutes away. Some team members are planning an expedition this spring, others are just here to learn a new skill, and two of them are the participants of our Henson Scholarship. Luckily, all team members and equipment arrived safe and on time.
Those who arrived early in the afternoon got out on skis right away. For some, this was their first time on skis, while others have hundreds of miles under their belt. Others took advantage of the opportunity to visit Wintergreen Northern Wear (makers of the iconic anorak, worn by our guides and team members alike).
After the ski clinic, the guides broke out their kit to run through layering systems, organization, and the ABCs of sled packing (accessible, balanced, compact). Excitement and anticipations were in equal measure as the team settled down for the night. Temperatures dipped below -30F last night! So the team is sure to get a real polar challenge over the next few days out on the lakes.
Tomorrow, the team will ski away from their lodge after breakfast and spend the next 2 nights and 3 days out in the frozen wilderness of the Boundary Waters. They will test their current skills, learn some new ones, and discover how to not only survive, but to thrive while living in a polar environment.
Check back tomorrow for another update!