A Practical Handbook for North and South Pole Expeditions, by Dixie Dansercoer!

Famous Belgian Polar explorer Dixie Dansercoer has been challenging for many years now the harsh & extreme cold conditions of the Greath North & Antarctica. As a result, he has launched a practical field handbook I recommend with many tips & tricks one should be aware of before envisaging any polar expedition. Please find here below Dixie Dansercoer’s exclusive interview!

He is answering for us to know more about his field expertise and for us to have a first taste of his great polar book titled “ Polar Exploration, A Practical Handbook for North and South Pole Expeditions”. 

Dixie 4.jpg

– What is your most memorable polar expedition souvenir & why?

Arriving on solid ground in Greenland after our 106 days crossing of the Arctic Ocean from Siberia. It was surreal to find ourselves on solid ground again having been tossed around on the frozen ocean for such a long time. At the same time we experienced spring with birds nesting and little flowers blooming. Walking around with rocks sticking out of the snow was like a revelation. Clearly there are many other highlights that remain tattooed in my sub conscience and they resurface time to time. Sometimes in the busiest of moments and that is exactly when I welcome with open arms.

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What are the 3 main preparation items one should think of to initiate any polar expedition ? 

Mental preparation: really want what you intend to do or to put it in one word, keep the passion on the forefront. Do it for the right intrinsic reasons. 

Go far: do not be satisfied with just good enough when it comes to equipment. Even with the limitations imposed by weight and the right balancing act with efficiency and practicality as other criteria, you do not want to be mad at yourself out on the ice when things break. 

Do not compete, be a pioneer: the Polar regions do not allow true competition as conditions change all the time. There is still enough place for an innovative approach.

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– Isn’t it becoming more and more dangerous to achieve any expeditions in the Arctic as the ice is melting so fast & is less compact – any tips & tricks you would recommend us in order to be cautious ? Or should one be wise not to even think of going on such adventure in the coming years? 

It is not so that the ice on the Arctic Ocean will disappear within the next 5 or 10 years. The many disastrous scenarios that have been communicated only have people scared and leads to paralysis while action is required to help slow down the train of global warming that is a fact. So, no, we should not be afraid to continue discovering the mysticism of the Arctic. The more ambassadors we can have for a changing Arctic, the better we can communicate the problems and attract public attention.

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– You have with Sam Deltour achieved in Antarctica between Q4, 2011 and Q1, 2012 an incredible polar world record expedition in total autonomy for more than 3 months, what should one learn from this type of expedition ? 

I believe that this expedition is truly based on my inquisitive mindset, truly wanting to understand the dynamics of the weather patterns with in our case, predominantly the wind as main factor. If we can still allow ourselves to be called adventurers, the definition only goes when you try to discover. The fun really started after having reached the South pole as we then entered unknown terrain. East Antarctica still holds some secrets and studying the wind patterns there was like discovering weightlessness on the moon.

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– What is your next polar major challenge Dixie ? Any exclusive scoop for Ice and Green visitors ? 

Haaaa, that is a good one; I will let you know when the time is ripe…. I have some ideas but i am now only sowing the seeds…

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– Why should one buy this book of yours ? As a matter of fact, where can one buy it ? 

The book can be purchased from Cicerone website (please click here to have all details to order >>) or/& via Amazon. 

I wrote this book because I felt that my accumulated experiences could serve people wanting to go to the frozen parts of our globe. It is clear that there is more to it than just packing a sled and picking a destination. Experience is key to going on an expedition with the right ethics and enough respect for yourself and team members to not have to pull the rescue beacon as soon as you break a tent pole. 

Also, since I guide more and more, the book allows participants to really study the book and consider it as a solid part of their preparation to come along on a last degree to the north pole or a kiting trip to Antarctica for example. If well prepared, it will help the reader to concentrate on the beauty of the surrounding ice expanses, rather than crisping up while feeling uncomfortable. With good preparation comes good routine and a feeling of becoming a part of the surroundings and truly, that is my goal.

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– Any particular message you would like to address to all our visitors from around the world? 

I wish to thank you for the efforts you put in with this new website.

In our ever-shrinking world, it is important to combine efforts on a communicative level and speak up as one.

Whatever the language, whatever your convictions. The globe speaks only one language and that is the language of respect for all living things; our beloved polar world must keep our heads cool!

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Nous vous invitons à relire les deux précédentes interviews exclusives réalisées avec Dixie Dansercoer=>

1. Antarctica Ice Expedition, exploring the limits propelled by the wind – 19.09.2011 >>

2. Sensational Antarctica world record exclusive interview of Belgian polar explorers Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour – 23.03.2012 >>

This post is also available in: French, Chinese (Simplified), Spanish

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