Norwegian Explorer Kasper De Thurah Takes The Husky Highway On The 2017 Fjällräven Polar Expedition
This year Kasper De Thurah got the chance of a lifetime and was given the opportunity to be elected for a spot on the 2017 Fjällräven Polar Expedition. With almost 30,000 public votes the dream was on and Kasper was to experience polar exploration first hand. Here he takes us through the story and gives us the real low down.
A trip where we cover 300km over the Arctic Tundra with 28 people from all over the world and 250 dogs, who will always be our biggest heroes, sets the scene for the greatest adventure of my life! My best buddy, although I love them all, must be Vark who's photobombing on the left (above). He was closest to my sled and had the most gas in the tank. He was always in the mood for a big cuddle and eager to get going!
Being able to represent Norway on this extreme expedition makes me very proud. Fjällräven Polar is an adventure for ordinary people who want to learn how to survive in the harsh elements. They provided the knowledge and most of the gear, but I decided to bring my SunGod goggles and sunglasses. They functioned so well - no condensation, easy to clean and extremely good to wear, even for 8 continuous hours standing on a dogsled.
We went from Signaldalen in Norway to Råstojaure where we camped out in the open arctic landscape despite an incoming snowstorm with -18 degree temperatures. The wind chill made it a lot colder. Starting bright and early, we travelled all day to Kattuvuoma where we camped on a frozen lake in Sweden.
With a snowstorm and freezing winds, the next day wasn’t going to be easy but we, like the dogs, embraced it! After a few hours, we took a short break to feed the dogs and grab some lunch. We had to layer up quickly before melting the snow to boil water for cooking. Doing so for the crew and all 250 dogs was quite a task but you get good (and by good, I mean quick) at it in those conditions. It's amazing how alive you feel. All the senses in your body are operating at a maximum as the wrath of Mother Nature hits you like a sledgehammer. It gives you a wonderful reality check on the important things in life. I don't think I've ever felt more alive, more focused. It's impossible to explain the feeling. You have to try it.
At times it felt like we were in a big white room where the air conditioner had gone nuts. The sky disappeared and became one with the ground. Although the wind was quite aggressive, it felt silent. It's the contrasts in nature: the soft and beautiful landscape in perfect harmony with the brutal and harsh elements that can turn on you in a second. We always had to look out for each other so we didn't lose the group and potentially get lost.
The following day we made it into the forests. Manoeuvring our equipment was tricky. It required patience and teamwork. That night, despite being -24 degrees at Sevujärvi, we slept outside in the open with just our sleeping bags. Getting to experience Aurora Borealis in the extreme cold and clear night was utterly magical... and cold!
On the final day, we went downhill to Väkkäräjärvi, not that far from Kiruna. We’d made it! The team always pulled together and the spirit was incredible. I made some great friends! This expedition has changed my life and I'll continue to challenge myself and find new adventures that can bring me closer to nature and myself.
Check out Kasper on Instagram to see more of his adventures - @polarekspedisjonen