Peter van Kets, adventurer and motivational speaker headed off to Iceland and the Langjokull Glacier to train for his upcoming race to the South Pole with team mate Braam Malherbe. The race is organised by Extreme World Races.
Iceland Training - Extreme World Races
Before this training Braam and I had little to none cold/snow/ice/cross country skiing experience and this was obviously of great concern. We had so much learning to do. So on the one side there are the cold conditions and on the other there is the endurance involved in racing. We are happy with our endurance capabilities and so it’s just conquering the cold and learning survival techniques.
Before we left Cape Town we were stocked up on a few serious items of clothing that we would test in Iceland. CAPESTORM supplied down jackets and a few hard, waterproof breathable shells which would prove vital to keep the cold out. We also visited Adventure Inc looking for down “tent slippers” and when we left we had an array of items that would also prove invaluable to us. Look out for CAPESTORM and Icebreaker product reviews shortly.
Conditions in Iceland were perfectly hectic. After a few days of indoor lectures we headed up to the Langjokull Glacier, the second largest glacier in Iceland. We arrived at the top with driving wind and sleet which fast turned into a real blizzard. Overnight the temperatures plunged and so we were now in realistic conditions. Life in the big freezer is great!
Another important issue for us was how we would be together. We really needed to learn how we cope being together on a long trip facing extreme hardship day after day. One thing is certain and that is Braam and I totally compliment each others abilities. We have decided that our focus on this race is to make sure that we look after each other. This is a fine thing and I believe a factor that will really enable us to achieve what we want out of this race.
Once we were taken off the glacier Braam and I had a few days to train on our own. What a disaster! The first day of training the winds were in excess of 80km/h and 2 meter visibility and to pay R20 000 (which is what we quoted) to go back up the glacier for that was unacceptable. So, now we still do not have enough cross country skiing experience. Our plan is to go somewhere, probably France to a place called Tignes Le Nac in late November.[noteblock]Does anyone have any other ideas where we could get guaranteed snow mid November – we just need a small area to cross country ski?[/noteblock]