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IPGA Newsletter

Issue No. 1                               March 2015

Welcome to the inaugural issue of HIGH LATITUDE, newsletter of the International Polar Guides Association.
The aim of this publication is to inform IPGA members and associates of recent and upcoming projects in the world of IPGA guiding, to foster a united and collaborative spirit within our unique community and to encourage those interested in guiding teams in the polar regions to begin the process of becoming an IPGA-endorsed guide.
Annie Aggens  IPGA Committe Member
Annie, together with PolarExplorers colleague Keith Heger, will be guiding the Shackleton Crossing of South Georgia Island in November. It's very exciting for both of them to be retracing Shackleton's traverse. They are also looking forward to sharing the incredible scenery and biodiversity of the island with their team of 12 clients. 
Annie and the rest of the PolarExplorers crew are looking forward to catching up with other IPGA-ers in Longyear next month. They will be up there for a handful of expeditions including a two degree dogsled, last degree ski, half degree dogsled and half degree ski, along with a group of fliers.

Dixie Dansercoer  IPGA Master Polar Guide
Dansercoer1Dixie has recently re-structured his guiding bsuiness, Polar Experience, and is now covering Svalbard, the Arctic Ocean, Iceland, Greenland and Queen Maud Land in Antarctica. The different trips are offered in a three-levelled program: novice, intermediate and expert. Ski-kiting expeditions are Dixie’s expertise and are customized for smaller groups of up to five participants.

Dixie believes that in-depth formation is a must prior to immersing clients in a hostile environment such as the Polar Regions. Dixie’s book Polar Exploration is the handrail for his courses, physical and mental training schedules are offered as well as hands-on practice.

This year Dixie and his co-guides have a fully-booked season in Svalbard, guiding 5 groups of 10 participants back to back. Dixie will then be guiding a group of 3 for a Last Degree to the North Pole and back to Barneo. Some of the Svalbard participants regard the short expedition as a training for their possible participation in a Queen Maud Land expedition in December 2015. 

Conrad Dickinson  IPGA Polar Guide
Dickinson1Conrad reports, 'A good fun start to the year'. He guided a last two degree trip to South Pole with one client, who had 3 separate types of cancer and associated operations. 'This made using Wagg bags interesting' he commented. Conrad bumped into IPGA guide Christoph Höbenreich and ALE stalwart Devon Mc Diarmid at SP.

February brought snow to the UK where he did some training for guys who had never skied before, in preparation for a Norway trip. 'Interesting skiing through  "UK peat hags', Conrad commented.

Next week Conrad takes seven novices to Norway for nice a leisurely hut to hut tour, then April brings another trip out to Norway on the Hardangervidda, the highest mountain plateau in Europe, with two good kiters where he will 'go where wind takes us'.

Christoph Höbenreich  IPGA Polar Guide
Hoebenreich2Over the southern summer Christoph guided a successful last degree trip to the South Pole, where he met IPGA guide Conrad Dickinson.
Christoph confirms he is leaving mid-March to Kamchatka in Russia's far-east to guide a team on a heli-skiing trip to the exciting volcanoes that typify this area. This year they have a lot of snow cover due to the two cyclones that passed through recently.

Christoph is also participating as guide and lecturer on a comfortable polar cruise to Franz Josef Land in the Russian Arctic.

Jóse Naranjo  IPGA Polar Guide
Naranjo1Jóse completed a trip in Lapland early in the year and at the time of publication is in Greenland on a dogsled trip.

Børge Ousland  IPGA Master Polar Guide
OuslandBorge reports that Ousland Polar Explorations have just finished a speedy Hercules–South Pole–Hercules expedition with two French clients guided by Are Johansen.
Børge is guiding a group of 13-14 year olds on a last degree North Pole trip for Norwegian national TV while Ousland guide and IPGA Polar Guide Bengt Rotmo will guide their usual last degree trip.
Also in May they have two trips across Greenland from west to east, guided by Bengt and Sigrid Ekran, winner of the Finnmark dog race and three times Iditarod participant.
Børge's company is also doing more trips within Norway. They recently completed a polar training trip across Finnmarksvidda in Arctic Norway and in May they have two kayak courses in Steigen, northern Norway, and also in May a one-week spring ski crossing of Hardangervidda.
This summer they will open Manhausen Island, their adventure destination in Arctic Norway, where customers can ski, paddle, dive and climb in absolutely stunning nature and surroundings. 'A great place for halibut spearfishing', says Børge. The facility will have one main house with a relaxed atmosphere for guests with conference facilities and they are now in the process of building nine seaside huts. The webpage is only in Norwegian at this stage but sign up for their newsletter or like them on Facebook and you will be informed when the English version is up and running.

Eric Philips  IPGA Master Polar Guide
Philips1Eric guided his annual China team (this time joined by two Italians and two Aussies) to Antarctica via Cape Town, staying 10 days at the Oasis Guesthouse on the Queen Maud Land coast. The team flew to South Pole (where Eric also met ALE-guides Hannah McKeand and Devon McDiarmid), overnighting high on the plateau at 83S, visited Emperor penguins at Atka Bay and completed a busy schedule of local treks around Schirmacher Oasis including the season's last visit of the spectacular Blue Ice tunnel.
In April Eric will guide two Australian wounded soldiers (participants of the 2013 South Pole Allied Challenge) and a Moroccan climber on a double degree ski to the Noth Pole. He is also facilitating a project at the North Pole by a German artist. This is Eric's 12th consecutive North Pole guiding season.
In June Eric will travel to Svalbard and Greenland to work on a joint Australian/Chinese film series about youth and climate change.

Bengt Rotmo  IPGA Polar Guide
Rotmo1Ousland guide Bengt just returned from guiding with the Norwegian Polar Institute´s 'New Ice Project'. He was on board the polar vessel Lance which purposely beset into the Arctic ice north of 83 degrees where, during the polar night, he skied with scientists and their equipment out onto the pack ice.

This spring Bengt will guide a North Pole last degree and a Greenland Crossing.

Doug Stoup  IPGA Polar Guide
Stoup1Doug's ski and polar season has been in full swing. He filmed a TV show throughout last summer in Greenland, a gold prospecting show called Ice Cold Gold for Discovery/Animal Planet in the States. He is a guide on the show and hopes to bring the beauty of Greenland to the viewing public. The show screens this week on Animal Planet.
In November Doug finished his 18th Antarctic Peninsula Ski Cruise and will again be taking another 120 skiers in November 2016.
The new year has been extremely busy for Doug, ski guiding in Utah, British Columbia, Montana and Colorado. He reports the snow in the mountains of California (Sierras) has been very low tide this season and hopes it will start falling again soon.
In early April Doug is ski touring in Greenland followed by his 15th North Pole expedition. He hopes to see many of you on the ice or in Longyearbyen. Then ski guiding in Iceland, a potential follow-on TV season in Greenland and some South Pole clients for January 2016.

Thomas Ulrich  IPGA Polar Guide
Ulrich1In april Thomas has a team of eight for a last degree North Pole trek, which puts him in the zone, both geographically and mentally, for a solo North Pole to Canada expedition (attempted by Eric Philips [with team] and Bengt Rotmo [solo] last year but foiled due to unmanageable conditions).
This is all training and preparation for Thomas' big solo challenge next year, an unsupported crossing from Siberia to Canada via North Pole.

Please visit the IPGA website for details on how to become an endorsed guide. You are welcome to access the online resources by registering at the website. All registred users will automatically become a HIGH LATITUDE subscriber. Alternatively, contact IPGA at the link below and we will add you to the subscriber list.

Thanks to all the our contributors. Happy guiding!

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