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Extreme Polar: ♦ IntroductionClothes/Equipment

Polar Training Course Outline

There are 3 stages to the Polar Training:

•  6 days of inside & outside workshops

•  4 day mini expedition

•  3 day final expedition


Pre Polar Training

Day 00 2 days before the course start, fly from home to Ottawa , overnight in Ottawa

Day 0   the day before the course starts, fly from Ottawa to Iqaluit, you have the afternoon to acclimatize, recover from jet lag and see Iqaluit (museum, visitor center, Inuit art, etc.)   You are responsible for your own accommodations.   (see and go to links on the top bar, and that will take you to accommodation information.)



Day 1  

9:00     Your first initiative task is to arrive at NorthWinds at 9:00 am .   You can take a taxi or walk to house #728, which is 3 doors to the west of   NorthMart, along the frozen sea ice.   We recommend that you bring a note book.   We start with:  

•  Welcome to Polar Training

•  Introduce yourself and your polar dreams

•  Introduction to NorthWinds,   course review program, expectations

9:45     Workshop: Polar Clothing

•  Traditional

•  Moisture Management

•  Vapor Barrier System (VBL)

•  “The System”, layers

•  Material, what is does or does not do

•  Polar Modifications & Expedition repairs

10:45    Check personal clothing, out fit with NW clothes

11:30   Break/ Help with Lunch

12:00    Lunch

12:30    Workshop: Introduction to Polar skis options:

            - back country skis, skins, bindings, boots & ski poles

            - Check personal ski systems /outfit

1:30      Ski Introduction to classic back country skiing

•  ski efficiency on the flat, up hill and down hill

3:30      Set up tents

            - look at tent modifications

            - dead-men, ice screws, snow bollards

6:00     Dinner

8:00      Workshop:   Sleeping Warm

•  Sleeping systems

•  Down vs Fiberfill

•  VBL's

•  Sleeping pads

•  Tricks to sleeping warm

Sleep out in tents


Day 2

7:30     Rise and Shine

8:00      Breakfast

9:00      Review: How did you sleep?

9:30      Workshop: Cold Weather Injuries

•  Hypothermia

•  Frostbite

•  Other common trail injuries: Chill Blains, cuts, burns, blisters

•  How the dominos line up for a disaster

10:30    Coffee Break

10:45    Continue Cold Weather Injuries

•  First Aid kits

12:00    Lunch

1:00      Depart for skiing in pressure ice on Frobisher Bay

3:00      Workshop: Navigation

            - Review of basic Map

            - Compass: magnetic variation

            - Navigation with watch and sun

4:00     Coffee Break

4:15      Continue Navigation

            - GPS

6:00     Dinner

7:00      Evening Program: On thin Ice, a woman's journey to the North Pole


Day 3  

7:30     Rise and Shine

8:00      Breakfast

9:00      Workshop Introduction to Polar travel with dog teams

•  The art of driving dogs: harnessing, running fan hitch, commands, steering & breaking the sled, maneuvering through pressure ice, care & feeding

•  Norwegian method of driving dogs on skis

3:30      Workshop: Stoves, how to blow-up your tent

•  Trouble shooting

•  Rebuilding your stove

4:30      Time out: get personal things organized, check out the library, help with dinner

6:00      Dinner

7:00      Evening Program: Kites on Ice, a journey to the South Pole and return


Day 4

7:30     Rise and Shine

8:00      Breakfast

9:00      Workshop: Communications

            -      Base support, roles and responsibilities

•  Daily sched. calls

            -      Iridium phones

•  Argos

•  Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

•  Website updates

•  Daily logs

•  Solar recharging

•  Working with electronics in the cold

10:00    Coffee Break

10:15    Continue with Coms.

10:45    Workshop: at look at pulk designs & harnesses

11:15    Ski on the bay with pulks

            - Pulling techniques through pressure ice and sastrugi

3:30      Workshop: Public Relations

•  Selling your soul to the media

•  Getting sponsorship, fund raising

•  Responsibility to sponsors

6:00      Dinner

7:00      Evening Program: North to Know Where


Day 5  

7:30     Rise and Shine

8:00      Breakfast

9:00      Workshop: Photography in the cold

•  photography 101

•  keeping cameras operating in the cold

10:00    Coffee Break

10:15    Intro to Kiting

•  Choosing the right kite

•  The Wind Window

12:00   Lunch

1:00      Kiting: ground school with 1 – 3 meter training kites

•  Launch & recovery techniques

•  Maneuvering in and out of the Winds Window

•  Kite management: untangling lines, rolling up lines & kites

4:00     Workshop: Travel Styles

•  Travel by time vs. miles

•  Breaks, how long how many

•  Leading, route finding

•  Equal weight of pulks?

4:45      Coffee Break

5:00      Workshop: Polar Bears

•  Travel in Polar Bear county

            -      Polar Bear protection options

6:00      Dinner

7:00      Evening Program: Kite Video


Day 6  

7:30     Rise and Shine

8:00      Breakfast

9:00      Workshop: Nutrition & Expedition Menus

•  Protein complementing

•  Calories to Weight

•  Menu planning, food selection, packing

10:00    Coffee Break

10:15    Pack out Mini & Final Expedition food

11:00    Kiting: Ski Kiting on Frobisher Bay

•  Ski Kiting: cross wind, down wind & up wind techniques

•  Ski Kiting with a pulk

•  Lunch on the ice

3:00     Finish Packing for Mini & Final Expedition

•  Food

•  Kitchen box: stoves, pots, etc.

•  First Aid & repair kits

6:00      Dinner

7:00      Evening Program: (to be announced)



Day 7 – 10  

7:30     Rise and Shine

8:00      Breakfast

9:00      Depart on Mini Expedition

On the 4 day expedition we will put the skills learned into action.   (Except perhaps polar bear defense?)

Expedition members will be responsible for:

•  Travel style

•  Navigation

•  Camp selection

•  Cooking

•  Daily communication with Base

On Expedition we will also cover:

•  Setting up a run way for Twin Otter planes

•  First Aid simulations

•  Trail repairs



Day 11 – 13 Group will travel back to Iqaluit on your own.   You will be responsible for both your own safety and that of your group.


Day 13    last day of course

2:00     Return to Iqaluit

            Clean, dry, repair and put away gear

4:00      Course Wrap up

            -      Debrief Course

•  Evaluation forms

5:00      Course End

•  Drop off at your Hotel or B & B

•  Or catch the First Air evening flight to Ottawa