Long ago I dreamt of an arctic traverse and saw myself on skis with my pulka, crossing a vast frozen lake and camping on the ice for days. A dream which seemed almost unattainable, like a journey to the moon, and I searched for information. Some years later I attended a conference on the Inuit, the name by which the indigenous people of Greenland are known, and their culture. As I was leaving the event, something prompted me to turn around and introduce myself to the conference organiser. I explained that I was a mountain guide and that I was enchanted by the landscapes and people of the arctic and, at the end of our short conversation, he presented me with a telephone number. After returning home I called the number and one week later I started my training as an arctic wilderness guide.
Today I am lucky to have been able to make a number of arctic traverses, in Lapland, Siberia and Greenland, where I lived for almost three months in a small town on its west coast. Through the European Wilderness Education School (EWES) I assist in training new arctic guides and present courses in winter survival. My dream of the arctic has come true and with this land I have fallen in love. Do you also have a dream? Quite possibly, in this very instance, it has started its journey to fulfilment…
I would like to join you in exploring one of Norway’s more rugged and spectacular areas, the Hardangervidda National Park; Europe’s most expansive mountain plateau. Crossing the Hardangervidda Plateau in winter is a unique and adventurous journey which requires total self-sufficiency, as we travel on skis with pulkas in a landscape where Amundsen himself planned and trained for his polar expeditions.
Join me as we travel to northern Siberia and journey across the tundra with the Nenets, one of the last truly nomadic peoples on Earth, as they migrate across these barren lands with their vast herds of reindeer, in search of fresh pastures for grazing. This annual migration is perhaps one of the last truly authentic, indigenous journeys available to experience, within easy reach of Europe.
Greenland’s east and west coasts provide beautiful yet wild and inhospitable territories, which impose upon us the true extent of nature’s greatness. This single country, rich in Inuit culture, offers two markedly different yet uniquely beautiful landscapes, depending upon the season of arrival, from the cold harsh winter to the vital summer, which extends life to even the most isolated of locations.
Navigating the Sami “road to nowhere” to our arrival at Sarek National Park, one of Sweden’s wildest and most isolated reserves, where countless lakes and valleys hide solitude and peace and provide stage for the spectacular Northern Lights. Equipped with pulkas and everything necessary to face potentially extreme conditions, this is an adventure in its purest form.
From December to April the northern extent of the Baltic Sea is often frozen and fast with ice, allowing us to travel on skis and navigate the many islands which provide refuge across its expanse. This journey is surely one of the most incredible experiences of my life.