Adventures in Polar Exploration

  • Date
    February 27, 2013
  • Time 10:30 a.m.
  • Location Seattle, WA
  • Price Free, registration required

Past Event

Picture of Børge Ousland sailing in Arctic
Børge Ousland sailing in Arctic waters

Photograph copyright Børge Ousland

Picture of Børge Ousland

Børge Ousland

Photograph by Julia Naglestad

“I’ve started to feel the layers of civilization peeling away. I wake up, peer at the sun, perform the day’s chores, sniff the north wind, and automatically pick out the best route and the safest campsites—all without thought.” —Børge Ousland

When it comes to polar exploration, Børge Ousland is a natural. An avid outdoorsman and former member of Norway’s Marinejeger—equivalent to our Navy Seals—he has the physical toughness to survive extreme conditions, as he’s demonstrated over and over again during his 25 years of experience at high latititudes, including 18 trips to the North Pole and six to the South Pole. In particular, Ousland has done more solo expeditions to the Poles than anyone else.

Ousland’s toughness is more than physical. Reaching the North Pole during the long polar night, or crossing the entire Antarctic continent solo, is a test of mind as much as of body. Carrying out such expeditions without outside support raises the bar even further, forcing him to rely on his own skill and ingenuity when things go wrong—as they inevitably do.

Heir to a great Norwegian tradition of polar voyages, Ousland has crafted expeditions to replicate the feats of the great pioneers of exploration. In 2007, while retracing Fridtjof Nansen’s historic trek across Franz Josef Land, he and his team were isolated for three weeks during which they were forced to live off the land. Then, in 2010, Ousland carried out the Northern Passage—a circumnavigation by ocean of the entire Arctic in a single season—achieving a long-sought goal of Arctic exploration that became possible only with changing climatic conditions.

An audience favorite for his charismatic and compelling presentations, Børge Ousland will report on his latest expeditions, including his observations on climate change in the polar regions, with photos and hair-raising video direct from the field.

Recommended for grades 2–5.

Bus support generously provided by Dr. Dori McLennan

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Watch a video of Børge Ousland and Thorleif Thorleifsson sailing the Northern Passage:

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Event Sponsors

  • Presenting National Sponsor

    Logo: Geico
  • Presenting Partner

    Logo for Seattle Symphony/Benaroya Hall
  • Community Partner

    Logo for Islandwood
  • Student Matinee Support From

    Logo: Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation
  • Hotel Sponsor

    Logo for Fairmont Olympic
  • Education Partner

    Logo for Woodland Park Zoo
  • Media Sponsor

    Logo for KCTS-9
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    Logo for KUOW

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