Category Archives: Blog

First day of spring – Plant a tree

Klaverweide school in Noordwijk aan zee needs a tree in front of their new building. Every year during the national tree planting day, these children participate in planting greenery around the area and luckily it was their turn to get a tree themselves. Thanks to Oikos and Irene Karssiens and the mayor of Noordwijk the school got a walnut tree donated Children who wrote the best wishes for the North Pole got a t-shirt from Plant for the Planet while I gave a talk why the Arctic is so important for the climate. Continue reading First day of spring – Plant a tree

Arctic Sea Ice Sits at Record Low for Mid-February

Arctic Sea Ice Sits at Record Low for Mid-February (via Climate Central)

By Brian Kahn Follow @blkahn Arctic sea ice growth has slowed dramatically in recent weeks, thanks in large part to abnormally warm air and water temperatures. Sea ice now sits at record low levels for mid-February. According to the National Snow and…

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Polar Vortex reaches Fernie

thumbToday it is colder here in Fernie then on the North Pole. This morning at 7 am the thermometer dipped to its lowest temp right before sunrise.  It is  -30°C at my house. It is too cold and too dangerous to do anything. The ski resort has issued a warning about  skiing and the risk of frostbite on your face when you  ski down. I doubt that this cold makes Canadian tough, because all you can do is to stay inside. Not for me, I am getting dressed and pull my tires in my polar outfit and test my gear in full arctic conditions.

Tire pulling

pulling tires

The best way of getting ready for an arctic expedition is to do exactly what you would be doing in the arctic – pulling a sled. Except  a sled is a big thing to haul around so I take our old  worn out  tires and  pull them up the hill. It is a bit like walking a cute dog that gets lots of attention. Everybody stops and is curious what you are doing.  I train at the Fernie Provincial Park  cross country trail because it has steep hills, my favorite. I just love to push these tires, around 40 kg up a 35 degree slope and edge my skis, pushing my weight forward while I am pulling the tires as hard as I can.   Afterwards you feel so fulfilled  by the hard work that a spin class in the gym looks easy.

Ruff wear

geo_sp_red_jacket_(1_of_1)[1]On each polar expedition you have the tough decision to make  what kind of fur  you are stitching around the hood of your jacket.  If you research it you learn that wolverine is the best fur. Inuit and other natives wear it exclusively. It sheds the snow and ice and  doesn’t absorb the water. It is warm and fuzzy around your skin. But wolverine? that is one of the most special animals around and because they are so shy, they are hard to hunt. So I called  the people of Alaska fur exchange in Anchorage for some dead sled dog fur. The women convinced me that dead dog won’t do the trick, it is like the fake furs that are in fashion. “Once it is wet, it will always smell like, well, wet dog” she says. Say no more. The same with coyote, and rabbit. The best are wolf, polar bear and wolverine, all of them are expensive but they prevent you from getting frostbite on your face. My other jacket has a wolverine/wolf mix and was definitely very warm and absorbed all the ice. Hmm, and now I need to have to order two ruffs for two different jackets. The women suggested I take a small white wolf ruff for my lighter jacket and a wolverine ruff for my big arctic jacket. I couldn’t argue, because not all fur is created equal.