Inspiring the spirit of exploration in the next generation is one of the primary goals of the My Explorer Journal experience on the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s new AR app.
In this blog, we hear from Anzac Gallate, a member of the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s 2020 Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ to the Antarctic Peninsula, who is the creative visionary behind My Explorer Journal.
AHT is searching for five young New Zealanders to be part of the first official expedition to cross the country’s new world-class ski route.
In November, the Trust brought together twenty students from around Canterbury, New Zealand had the opportunity to follow in Frank Worsley’s footsteps.
In March 2019, Marco de Kretser travelled to the Antarctic Peninsula as a member of Antarctic Heritage Trust’s fourth Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition.
This expedition offered the young explorers a chance to push themselves, to connect with experts, and learn about Antarctica’s history, science, wildlife, and environment, as well as the legacy of exploration in Antarctica.
Marco recorded the sounds of Antarctica’s frozen wild—the ice cracking, the birds shrieking—in order to bring those sounds back to the studio and create music inspired by the brutal, desolate, gargantuan landscapes. Marco wanted to create an interplay between the smaller details and larger saws and strings to mimic the nature of the Antarctic environment.
Here is that music:
Marco also used the sounds he recorded in Antarctica to compose a soundscape, which accompanies a photographic exhibition in collaboration with Alexander Hillary, who was also a member of the expedition. Experience that exhibition here.
Since Anzac’s return from the Antarctic Peninsula he has spent a year creating an explorer journal.
It is with much excitement that we can now announce the team that will be heading to the Antarctic Peninsula next month on our 2020 Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition with Olympic kayaker Mike Dawson!
As part of a new partnership with Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Antarctic Heritage Trust is taking two Year 13 students kayaking in Antarctica with a kiwi Olympian.
Mele Fetu’u and Lana Kiddie-Vai will be on the Trust’s fourth Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition™ in early 2019.
The team will travel to the Antarctic Peninsula from South America aboard a One Ocean Expeditions vessel as part of a scheduled expedition.
Trust Executive Director Nigel Watson, who will lead the expedition, says it will be an unforgettable experience.
“Antarctica has the power to change lives. As well as exploring that magnificent place and learning about the legacy we care for, our Inspiring Explorers will go kayaking under the mentoring of Olympian Mike Dawson and the One Ocean Expeditions’ team. We are very excited.”
More young people aged between 18-30 will also be on the expedition… they are currently being selected from hundreds of applications nationwide.
Nigel Watson says the Trust and Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate have a special connection.
“The school cares for Sir Edmund’s former home in New Zealand (which is now a leadership centre on the Collegiate’s grounds) and the Trust cares for his former home in Antarctica. We share a genuine sense of kaitiakitanga for Sir Edmund’s legacy.”
Nigel and Olympic kayaker and youth ambassador Mike Dawson met the students for the first time last week, at an event held at Hillary House, to celebrate the partnership between the Trust and the Collegiate. Mike says it was a special moment meeting Mele and Lana.
“To get to meet these amazing young people and their families inside the study of Sir Ed’s old home, with members of the Hillary family there, felt pretty special.”
Lana says the reality of going to Antarctica for the first time is already starting to set in for the two Collegiate students.
“I’m really excited but I’m also a bit nervous. It’s going to be so cold! But that is all what makes it an adventure.”
Through sponsorship provided by the Woolf Fisher Trust, the Trust is also bringing a young teacher from the Collegiate on the expedition. The teacher will be announced along with the rest of the expedition participants in early 2019.
This is the Trust’s fourth Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition™ following a crossing of South Georgia in 2015, the summiting of Mt Scott in 2017, and the successful 560km crossing of the Greenland ice cap earlier this year. The Trust is partnering with One Ocean Expeditions for the 2019 expedition.
They’ve done it! The Inspiring Explorers have completed the epic crossing of the Greenland ice cap
They’ve battled hurricane conditions, heavy snowfalls and illness, but the 6-person Antarctic Heritage Trust Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition has reached the finish line of their 560-kilometre crossing of the Greenland ice cap.
They made the journey on skis while pulling 60-kilogram supply sleds behind them.
The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust selected four young explorers for the expedition from a pool of nearly 200 applicants. Two Kiwis; Brando Yelavich (24) and Hollie Woodhouse (33) and two Australians; Bridget Kruger (30) and Keith Parsons (28). They were joined by AHT Executive Director Nigel Watson and Ousland Polar Exploration master polar guide Bengt Rotmo.
The team left the west coast of Greenland on May 4 and arrived in the small village of Tasiilaq (on Greendland’s east coast) on Saturday, 2 June. Hollie, Brando and Nigel are now enroute to New Zealand.
The crossing is the Trust’s third Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition and proved to be the most challenging one yet.
Nigel Watson says the team’s final day saw them ski for 21 hours.
“We set off at 10am. A possible polar bear sighting had us on edge, but it turned out to be an illusion! We continued to ski and eventually saw mountains – there was great excitement after seeing nothing but a flat, white horizon for weeks. We stopped for a hot meal at 1am before reaching the end of our journey at 7am – there were hugs and tears of relief.”
A helicopter then picked up the team and took them to Tasiilaq.
Hollie says arriving into the village was unbelievable.
“The relief in finishing is immense and to finally walk on solid ground after 4 weeks of skiing was a strange feeling. We stayed in a great hotel, dinner was nothing fancy but it was the best. Being warm, showered and seeing each other’s faces properly for the first time in 4 weeks was an odd experience.”
Keith says finishing the journey is bittersweet.
“On the one hand we have accomplished something rather special and momentous, but at the same time it means the end of the experience and everything that went with it: the ice, the struggle and mostly the time together with friends.”
Brando, who completed the first solo circumnavigation of New Zealand’s coastline, says the expedition has been tough.
“Physically my biggest challenge was my joints and my feet adjusting to the repetition and the pulling of the sled for 29 consecutive days. Mentally I was consumed by the repetition… the walking and the white were mind numbing at times. It was a great mental challenge”.
Bridget, who has worked for years as an outdoor instructor and adventure therapist all over the world, says this journey was bigger than anything she has done before.
“It was a huge journey that I was really able to delve into because I wasn’t a guide, just a client with the space to really be me and deal with the massive mental and physical challenges we faced. I’ve never done a winter expedition of this length before with this extent of conditions so it was an incredible opportunity to grow through that.
The Expedition honoured Fridtjof Nansen, the renowned polar explorer and humanitarian, who completed the first crossing of Greenland 130 years ago in 1888.
New Zealand outdoors company Kathmandu are an expedition sponsor, with the team road testing their new XT Series, designed for extreme environments.
Once home, they will begin tailored outreach programmes supported by the Trust, with the aim of sharing their experiences, and encouraging others to get out and explore.
Trust Executive Director Nigel Watson says that will be the most important part of the expedition.
“The whole reason the Trust undertakes these expeditions is to encourage people to get out and explore the amazing world we live in. By sharing their story, the team has the opportunity to inspire someone else to do something they never have before – an experience that could be life changing.”