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Into the Cold with Eric Larsen, A Travel Log: Part 1

“Believe it or not, I really don’t like being cold, and therefore I work diligently to keep the cold as far away as possible.”

Take him at his word and either Eric Larsen is a glutton for punishment or someone who enjoys a challenge to the point of absurdity.

This explorer is known for his unsupported trips to the North Pole — a feat that fewer than 50 people have accomplished in history. Compare that with the thousands who have surmounted Everest and you might have an inkling about the dangers posed by this epic journey. What’s more, his expedition in 2014 with Ryan Waters (I highly recommend watching the documentary) may be the last time a trek like this ever takes place. Climate change has steadily altered the terrain of the Pole, Larsen says, and the thinning ice may have tipped what was an already difficult venture into the realm of impossibility.

Since 2014, no one has attempted the trip, and some scientists speculate that the North Pole’s layers of ice could be almost completely melted in as little as 20 years. It’s a shocking notion, especially given the season. Imagine that you have to tell a kid there’s no Santa Claus and then, immediately, that the frosty world of his home in the North Pole is also just a fantasy.

Naturally, Larsen’s firsthand accounts and visual records of these changes are a powerful force for boosting environmental awareness. And, despite his apparent distaste for the cold, embracing winter adventure to put people in touch with nature is his specialty.

That’s why he’s invited yours truly for some winter camping in Crested Butte, Colorado, where I’m writing this first entry. Over the next few days, I’ll be highlighting tips on outdoor adventure from one of the world’s premier explorers, while also showcasing the high-level tech and gear for survival in the most extreme conditions. There will be pictures and even some unintentional shaky-cam video, as I camp out with this seasoned veteran at high elevation. And, best of all, you get to learn all about it at room temperature.

Join us for Part 2, coming soon, and make sure to check out our social media feeds for extra footage and pics from the trip.

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November 30, 2017
By P.K. French

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