Explorer Journeys: Bridget Kruger

Inspiring Explorers Expedition™: Greenland Ice Cap 2018

Bridget Kruger beat the odds to not only recover from a devastating head injury, but to complete a miraculous crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap.

After sustaining a traumatic head injury in a serious accident while working as a dog sled guide in Canada, Bridget Kruger was unsure if she would ever be able to walk or talk again. However, when she woke in her hospital bed three months after her accident, it was the thought of future exciting expeditions that fuelled her determination to recover.

What Bridget couldn’t have imagined then, was the extraordinary feat she would go on to complete, as a member of the Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ to the Greenland Ice Cap in 2018.

After battling hurricane conditions, heavy snowfalls and illness, Bridget was part of a team which completed the epic 560-kilometre crossing of the remote, desolate ice cap almost a month after they set off, and with very little time left to spare. “The final descent was magical. We saw the mountains emerge out of the vast whiteness around us – the first real thing we had seen in 27 days. As the day grew into night, the sunset blanketed us in this stunning light that sparkled off the show. The moon was rising, a huge, gorgeous fiery orb. The scene looked like we were skiing down on this sea of clouds to meet the moon. It was the most beautiful evening of my life.”

This stunning scene was just reward for Bridget, who found the last week of the expedition the most challenging. “We were doing long hours and facing crazy weather and deep snow. I had been quite sick, and the long days evoked some of my old head injury symptoms. I find it hard to balance and see properly when I am tired and go into survival mode with my personality completely disappearing. This was a difficult time, as I had to rely so much on the help of others, even when they were tired themselves. I was lucky the team was so supportive as I wouldn’t have made it through without them.”

She said the time and space to reflect on her life and work through ideas was another gift of the experience. Among the other discoveries Bridget made, was how much the body can endure and just keep going when the mind starts to falter. “We had so much time to think. It is interesting where the mind goes and what you realise are the most important things to you.”

“Despite my head injury, I am forever grateful for the abilities I do have, and it was overwhelming to discover during the expedition just what I am capable of doing.”