Inspiring Explorers' Expedition 2018

Connecting young people with the spirit of exploration.

Credit: Borge Ousland Polar Exploration

2018 Expedition - Greenland Ice Cap Ski Traverse

We are very excited to announce the team for AHT’s Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition 2018 to attempt a crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap.

New Zealanders Brando Yelavich (24) and Hollie Woodhouse (34), and Australians Bridget Kruger (30) and Keith Parsons (27), will join our Executive Director Nigel Watson and Borge Ousland Polar Exploration Master Polar Guide Bengt Rotmo in attempting to cross the Greenland Ice Cap in May.

After receiving nearly 200 applications, we had the difficult task of selecting just four young explorers, from a very high calibre of applicants. We are thrilled with the team we have selected to embark on this once in a lifetime expedition.

This will be the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust’s third Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition and will see the team attempt to ski across the second largest body of ice in the world over a month, dragging 60 kilogramme sleds behind them for more than 560 kilometres.

We are also thrilled to have Kathmandu on board as an expedition sponsor. We will be road-testing some of their new XT Series, which has been specifically developed for extreme environments.

The expedition will begin in early May, and will honour iconic Norwegian polar explorer, humanitarian, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Fridtjof Nansen.

Trust Executive Director Nigel Watson, who will also attempt the crossing, says this will be the Trust’s longest and most challenging Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition yet.

“Part of the Trust’s mission is to encourage the spirit of exploration. This expedition will celebrate the 130th anniversary of one of the world’s great polar exploration stories - Nansen’s crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap in 1888, the first time the feat was accomplished. Nansen’s experience and his pioneering polar equipment revolutionised long distance polar travel. The Trust has conserved items including Nansen sledges and Nansen cookers in the early explorers’ huts that we care for in Antarctica, tangible examples of Nansen’s influence on the likes of Scott and Shackleton.”

Read more about Nansen here.

Meet the 2018 Inspiring Explorers

New Zealander Brando Yelavich was just 19 when he became the first person to circumnavigate New Zealand on foot. He followed that with an unforgiving 32-day solo trip around Stewart Island, and is about to set off on a tour of New Zealand schools to inspire Kiwi kids.

Christchurch’s Hollie Woodhouse is an endurance athlete who has competed in some of the most gruelling adventure races on the planet, from the Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Desert, to the 230km Jungle Ultra through the Amazon. She’s also the founder of a successful adventure magazine ‘Say Yes To Adventure’.

Australian Bridget Kruger has worked as an outdoor instructor and adventure therapist all over the world. In 2012, she overcame a traumatic head injury after being run over by a dog-sled. She slept for three months before undergoing intensive therapy to regain her short-term memory, the ability to balance, and to think coherently.

Melbourne’s Keith Parsons is a skilled videographer. He has worked as a freelancer in Africa and Australia, and for major news media companies and NGOs in the United Kingdom and Australia. He is an avid trail runner with a passion for history and the environment.

Find out more about our 2018 Inspiring Explorers here.

Our own expedition will be the challenge of a lifetime. We handpicked the final four young people from nearly 200 applicants and we are very excited about the calibre of the team.

Nigel Watson, Executive Director


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