Adventures in Polar Exploration

  • Date
    March 6, 2013
  • Time 7:30 p.m.
  • Location Mesa, AZ
  • Price Single-event tickets start at $26.

Past Event

Photo: Borge Ousland sailing
Børge Ousland sailing in Arctic waters

Photograph copyright Børge Ousland

Photo: 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 direct from the field and hair-raising video.

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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
  • Series Sponsor

    Logo: Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Presenting Partner

    Logo: Mesa Arts Center
  • Community Partner

    Logo: Desert Botanical Garden
  • Official Bookstore

    Logo: Changing Hands Bookstore
  • Hotel Partner

    Logo: Phoenix Marriott

Speakers by Location

Speakers for Today, December 06, 2016 in Mesa, AZ


The Risky Science of Exploration, Mesa, AZ
February 1, 2017

The Mystery of our Human Story, Mesa, AZ
March 29, 2017

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