live Hardangervidda Winter Crossing

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Hardangervidda is the largest peneplain in Europe. In winter, extreme temperatures below -20°C are typical, and since the plain is mostly devoid of trees, punishing winds add to the hostility of the terrain. With these conditions, the plateau provides an environment close to Greenland or Antarctica, which is why Hardangervidda has been one of the most popular training grounds for Polar expeditions. The polar pioneers Amundsen and Shackleton have both trained here, as have famous modern explorers like Børge Ousland and Hannah McKeand. Following in these footsteps, we picked the Hardanger plateau as the site for our first big winter adventure. Our goal is to ski across the plateau unguided, unsupported, and unassisted. We will start from Skinnarbu in the South-East on January 28th and hope to arrive in Finse before February 8th, so we can attend the Expedition Finse conference on Feb 9th and 10th.

live Hardangervidda Summer Trek

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Early in 2019, Team Fram will head to Hardangervidda for our first real test in Arctic conditions. In preparation for that, we are going for a summer hike. With this trip, we are trying to accomplish a couple of goals. First, we are looking at the logistics of travelling to Hardangervidda, and getting our gear there. We also need to understand how we'll access the plateau after we arrive there. Second, we want to get an idea of the landscape we're going to ski in, see and learn the marked paths, and visit DNT huts and emergency shelters in the area. Third, we're testing some of our equipment we'll be using on the winter crossing. We will bring the same tent, and use the same stove. Fourth, we will use this opportunity to work on our routines so we can have the tent set up and dinner ready within 15 minutes of picking a campsite. And finally, this will be the first adventure together for Team Fram, so we are looking to test our general teamwork and find out how we cope with each other over multiple days of isolation.

Arctic Expedition Training

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When Lauren and I met, we both had just formed the idea of doing an Arctic expedition, each on our own and for our personal reasons. Lauren was freshly inspired by Felicity Aston's book Alone in Antarctica. Thorsten's head was full of heroic tales of Fridjof Nansen and amazing pictures of Børge Ousland's expeditions. Neither of us, however, had any clue what it actually meant to go on an Arctic expedition. In fact, neither of us had actually ever skied before. We were spending our days crawling the internet looking for every bit of information we could find on how to get started. After a bit of research, we decided our first step towards becoming Polar explorers would be an actual Arctic Expedition Training course. Quite a few companies are offering these courses, and they are not cheap. It is indeed possible to acquire the necessary skills on your own, but for novice explorers, like us, it felt like a kick-start we could not miss. After all, we still did not know if we would actually like camping in the snow and dragging a heavy pulk, and that is something we wanted to find out rather sooner than later. We were also struggling with research for all the gear we may need, and looking at what was being used on a course seemed like the perfect opportunity to get all the info we needed.