"I'm good at two things: Eating the same food day after day after day and wearing the same clothes day after day after day."
With that opening line Polar Explorer Eric Larsen began his "Into the Heart of Cold" presentation at the Bugaboo lodge. For the next hour heli-hikers of all ages were captivated with his story of the world record "Save the Poles" expedition to ski to both the north and south poles and summit Mt. Everest in a 365 day period.
Eric detailed the dangers he and his three expedition teams faced ranging from frost bite, broken gear, and getting lost, to crevasses, white outs and ice floes. By relying on routine and staying focused each of the three expedition teams reached their intended goal with teams intact.
In the 60 minute presentation my fellow Heli-Hikers and I sat transfixed as Eric shared the story of his motivation to undertake the mission, the challenges he faced in fundraising and just simply getting the trips started, as well as his fears and doubts along the way. The message of the presentation was clear: we are all average, yet we all have within us the capacity to achieve great things.
I spoke with Steve Kurstiuk, a CMH guest who was at the lodge with his son enjoying some father-son time. Steve summed up Eric's presentation nicely "Each of the three journeys Eric took, while similar in that they were in all extreme cold environments, were very different from each other with unique challenges. Each required a fortitude of continuing a journey despite both calculated risks and natural challenges, that tested the strength of his sense of purpose. Whether it was extreme cold weather and fog in the South Pole, or continuing to drift further from your goal despite long distance daily treks in the North or making the call on the tiniest of weather windows on Everest in the fall – all required something a little extra that many times in life is not found in reserve. It showed very well that if only we can overcome the tipping point, the fruits of our labours can often be realized."
During the expeditions Eric went to great lengths to keep in touch with his followers via twitter, facebook and blog posts as well as filming as much as he could. In his presentation at the lodge, we were captivated by the images he used to tell his story. The video will eventually be edited into a documentary film entitled "Colder", a trailer of which I have included here to give you a sense of the presentation.
Eric has agreed to come back to CMH Bugaboo Lodge in 2012. You can join him August 26-29, 2012 and walk, hike and climb in a much more humane, but equally dramatic, environment! For more information on Heli-Hiking with Eric Larsen, contact CMH Reservations at firstname.lastname@example.org. Come, and be inspired!