BEST light-weight expedition sleeping bag: Western Mountaineering Antelope Review

The bag is great in quite cold conditions. It’s Rated to 5 deg F. Aaron has taken it to -20deg F and been a little chilly but okay. He’s used in the Arctic in Greenland and in the Rockies just under a tarp. The tarp sleeping was a bit cold but he did …

The bag is great in quite cold conditions. It’s Rated to 5 deg F. Aaron has taken it to -20deg F and been a little chilly but okay. He’s used in the Arctic in Greenland and in the Rockies just under a tarp. The tarp sleeping was a bit cold but he did okay.

Get the Antelope MF bag on Amazon at: https://amzn.to/2GxLfQf
Get the Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sack at Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2GvbYwR

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Add HUGE WARMTH to your sleeping bag: Western Mountaineering Hot Sac VBL Review

Extend the warmth range of your sleeping bag with this vapor barrier liner. It weighs about 5 oz and can be used as an emergency bivy sack if you’re caught out in the wilderness at night. Aaron used this liner in Antarctica when it was so cold that ev…

Extend the warmth range of your sleeping bag with this vapor barrier liner. It weighs about 5 oz and can be used as an emergency bivy sack if you’re caught out in the wilderness at night. Aaron used this liner in Antarctica when it was so cold that even his Western Mountaineering Bison -40 deg F sleeping bag wasn’t enough. It’s the final answer in keeping you warm in the most extreme conditions on Earth.

Get the Hot Sac VBL on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2Vm0ZiD
Get the Western Mountaineering Bison sleeping bag on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2W6eLmL

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BEST mid-weight expedition sleeping bag: Western Mountaineering Puma Review

Aaron has used this bag on Denali and in Yellowstone in the winter. He hasn’t been cold in this bag yet. It’s rated to -25 deg F. This is a real expedition bag with all the extra features, baffles, and neck tubes you would expect in a serious expediti…

Aaron has used this bag on Denali and in Yellowstone in the winter. He hasn’t been cold in this bag yet. It’s rated to -25 deg F. This is a real expedition bag with all the extra features, baffles, and neck tubes you would expect in a serious expedition bag.

Get the Western Mountaineering Puma bag on Amazon at: https://amzn.to/2GpPblW
Get the Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sack at Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2GvbYwR

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Antarctica Race CONTROVERSY – Was the Race RIGGED?

There’s a huge controversy brewing in the Antarctic polar exploration community right now. There’s a big question of whether the two men who just completed a crossing from the Messner Start to the base of Leverett Glacier were completely unaided and unassisted or did they have help? According to the rules of exploration, you can have NO outside help of any kind to claim unaided and unassisted. Assistance means mechanized (snow mobiles), kites, dogs, or otherwise. But it also includes navigational assistance, too. For someone to be totally solo, they can’t use other tracks or the graded “road” on the ice from Leverett Glacier to the South Pole. The other claim is the Impossible First. Borge Ousland was the first to cross the entire ice continent. He had a makeshift kite made out of a tarp. Nothing like what people use today. In order to claim a land crossing or start like I did, you have to start on the geographic coast. That’s what everyone has accepted for years. My trip was ~720 miles. My hope was to round trip to the South Pole and back but that didn’t happen. I lost my solo, unassisted and unaided when I had my supplies moved and I ended up traveling along a sled track for a couple of days. Apparently, it’s very common for people to follow the graded ice path from the South Pole to Leverett Glacier. The grading removes all of the sastrugi. That’s a big deal. But what’s a WAY BIGGER DEAL are the flags every 100 yards. This completely eliminates the need for navigation. During a whiteout, you can still move super fast without blundering around by compass with those flags. I fantasized about having a marker on the horizon to follow. I had no idea they existed for some people. When I was in the sled track, I was still blind in whiteouts, so trying to follow the track was far worse. But if I had flags, it would have been 10x easier. I explain all of this in my book Antarctic Tears: https://amzn.to/2SJGdoH I talk about my decision to follow the sled track for a while, what it gave me, and what injuries and problems it caused. I had no idea that people weren’t being totally truthful about their experience. What I couldn’t figure out is how this year’s skiiers’ speed increased after the SP. Then I learned about the grading and flags. Their speed increased a whopping 40% by following this track and the markers. The average speed moving to the pole was 14 miles per day. The average speed moving AWAY from the pole was 20 miles per day. An occasional tailwind and microscopic downhill can’t give you that much advantage. Though the athletic achievement is phenomenal (900+ miles is crazy by any measure), it’s not a fair comparison at all to the other explorers who had no aids. Ah, exploration controversy! I hope I’ve cleared things up a little bit. I want to be open and honest about exactly what happened on my record-setting expedition of 80+ days. I hope everyone else does, too. Articles: Antarctica 2018-2019: First? Traverse? Unassisted? The Controversy Continues   New York Times Article

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There’s a huge controversy brewing in the Antarctic polar exploration community right now. There’s a big question of whether the two men who just completed a crossing from the Messner Start to the base of Leverett Glacier were completely unaided and unassisted or did they have help? According to the rules of exploration, you can have NO outside help of any kind to claim unaided and unassisted. Assistance means mechanized (snow mobiles), kites, dogs, or otherwise. But it also includes navigational assistance, too.

For someone to be totally solo, they can’t use other tracks or the graded “road” on the ice from Leverett Glacier to the South Pole. The other claim is the Impossible First. Borge Ousland was the first to cross the entire ice continent. He had a makeshift kite made out of a tarp. Nothing like what people use today. In order to claim a land crossing or start like I did, you have to start on the geographic coast. That’s what everyone has accepted for years. My trip was ~720 miles. My hope was to round trip to the South Pole and back but that didn’t happen. I lost my solo, unassisted and unaided when I had my supplies moved and I ended up traveling along a sled track for a couple of days.

Apparently, it’s very common for people to follow the graded ice path from the South Pole to Leverett Glacier. The grading removes all of the sastrugi. That’s a big deal. But what’s a WAY BIGGER DEAL are the flags every 100 yards. This completely eliminates the need for navigation. During a whiteout, you can still move super fast without blundering around by compass with those flags. I fantasized about having a marker on the horizon to follow. I had no idea they existed for some people.

live on purpose radio

Experience the worst, have the best time

When I was in the sled track, I was still blind in whiteouts, so trying to follow the track was far worse. But if I had flags, it would have been 10x easier. I explain all of this in my book Antarctic Tears:

https://amzn.to/2SJGdoH

I talk about my decision to follow the sled track for a while, what it gave me, and what injuries and problems it caused. I had no idea that people weren’t being totally truthful about their experience.

What I couldn’t figure out is how this year’s skiiers’ speed increased after the SP. Then I learned about the grading and flags. Their speed increased a whopping 40% by following this track and the markers. The average speed moving to the pole was 14 miles per day. The average speed moving AWAY from the pole was 20 miles per day. An occasional tailwind and microscopic downhill can’t give you that much advantage.

Though the athletic achievement is phenomenal (900+ miles is crazy by any measure), it’s not a fair comparison at all to the other explorers who had no aids.

Ah, exploration controversy! I hope I’ve cleared things up a little bit. I want to be open and honest about exactly what happened on my record-setting expedition of 80+ days. I hope everyone else does, too.

Articles:

Antarctica 2018-2019: First? Traverse? Unassisted? The Controversy Continues

 

New York Times Article

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Update on the ASTOUNDING RACE Across Antarctica and other explorers

Update on the ASTOUNDING RACE Across Antarctica and other explorers
This week in Antarctica, the weather has turned bad and polar explorers are struggling. Skis are broken, nerves may fray, and people have yet to hit the wall after 40 days. Check out …

Update on the ASTOUNDING RACE Across Antarctica and other explorers

This week in Antarctica, the weather has turned bad and polar explorers are struggling. Skis are broken, nerves may fray, and people have yet to hit the wall after 40 days. Check out to see what’s going on in Antarctica right now.

Check out my upcoming book on expeditions: Adventure Expedition One at

Adventure Expedition One

**************************
Visit Aaron’s website at: http://www.ncexped.com

Check out the video and see what you think. Thank you for watching and please support & subscribe!


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About Aaron Linsdau

Aaron Linsdau is a polar explorer and motivational speaker. He is the second only American to ski alone from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, setting a world record for surviving the longest expedition ever for that trip. Aaron is an Amazon best-selling author, is an expert at overcoming adversity and minimizing risk, and loves improving the lives of others.


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How to make big progress slowly

How do you conquer climbing a mountain or completing a huge project? What’s the best way to go about it? People, including me, like to rush at the last second, taking the heroic approach. But is that the best way to go? In my experience—definitel…

How do you conquer climbing a mountain or completing a huge project? What’s the best way to go about it? People, including me, like to rush at the last second, taking the heroic approach. But is that the best way to go? In my experience—definitely not.

When you try to rush, work through the night, and crank it out, it may seem like you succeeded. That’s not possible to keep up all the time, though. I used to work at places where we did the hero thing, multiple times a quarter. After a while, people started quitting and developing health problems. It was a consistency failure.

The same thing happens when you work out and train for something. It’s much more effective to apply consistent, slow but manageable work. It’s not as glamorous but it’ll get you to the top of the mountain. In this video, I climbed Mt. Glory to 10,130′ and didn’t break a sweat because I went slowly. It wasn’t glorious but I got the job done.

You can too!

The post How to make big progress slowly appeared first on AARON LINSDAU Motivational Speaker.

Following Parker Liautaud

Good luck to the final training months for Parker Liautaud, a 19 year old from Palo Alto, for trying to do a mid-range route to the south pole:

http://news.msn.com/us/teen-polar-explorer-will-attempt-to-break-south-pole-record#!

Note – the article is a bit misleading – Christian Eide’s feat of going solo from Hercules Inlet to the SP was 700 miles in 25 days.  No one has come even close to touching his record since 2011.  Parker’s trip, though a long 400 miles, will not compare to Christian’s trip, as a speed record.  The website has a correct assessment of the expedition:

http://www.willisresilience.com/the-expedition/world-record/

I’m looking forward to reading when a solo Parker starts from the Hercules Inlet and best’s Christian’s record – now that will be astonishing!  It looks like Parker has a good many years to do some very impressive things and I look forward to reading about them.

Good luck Parker!

Prep for teaching: Watch at the South Pole

One thing I had been meaning to do for a while was photograph the

Casio G-Shock ProTrek PRW5100 that went to the South Pole
Casio G-Shock ProTrek PRW5100 that went to the South Pole

watch It’s Jackson Time, one of my expedition sponsors, provided me with.  Ted, the owner, was very good and made sure I had an excellent expedition time piece to trek across Antarctica with.

Although the Casio ProTrek PRW5100-1 is no Rolex, it has certain features I loved.  Having analog for checking time at a glance was wonderful.  It had been forever since I had an analog watch and I never realized how much more quickly I could watch my time during skiing.  Also, the analog face does not develop lag like an LCD nor does it turn black when looking at it with polarized glasses.  And, I could leave the watch out and still read it.  LCD-based watches would turn to unreadable mush at -40 deg. F.

One of the purposes for photographing this watch was to fine-tune my product shooting skills for a few classes I’m teaching at the Art Association of Jackson Hole.  I will be teaching four different classes.  Stay tuned for their description, purpose and audience.  I will be targeting intermediate shooters with one course and have a class on strobe (flash) photography.  Hence the above photograph.

The class dates and exact description will be forthcoming.

ProTrek PRW5100 unretouched
ProTrek PRW5100 unretouched, what it looked like after the south pole

Note: The above watch went with me to the South Pole.  It’s a little more beat up than the above shows.  It took a sick amount of Photoshop work to take out most of the dings, scratches, fuzzies, and specs.

Here’s the original image before editing:

Book development

As I’ve been developing and writing my book, I’ve had to refer back to photographs to

Sastrugi near Colossus Hill
Sastrugi near Colossus Hill

clarify certain things. One place I needed to check on was the location of Colossus Hill at S 87º 21′, W 082º 35’. This south-facing slope had ridiculously large sastrugi, bigger than I had encountered up to the that point in the trip.
This photo was taken right near there.

The conditions made for tough going.

“A pathetic voyage”

It’s interesting to read post-mortems about my Antarctica expedition; from

Explorapoles
Explorapoles commentary

Explorapoles:

This young San Diego resident, Aaron Linsdau (38), wanted to become the first American to complete, solo and without any means of assistances (no kites), the classical Hercules Inlet -> South Pole trek – 1 450 miles trip. [actually about 700mi]

Aaron Linsdau (a Carlsbad software engineer) has attempted to be the first American to ski solo and unsupported from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. But after the worst voyage ever (he had encountered almost evevry setback possible), he made it to the SP [South Pole] but had to give up the idea of the return trip. Consequently, one may say that it was an abandon. And that his expedition is not a successfull one.

See here his pathetic voyage (his daily blog, about 40 pages)

The commentary at the end, about being abandoned and not successful are definitely correct!  I was not successful at completing a round trip.  In fact, I was successful at spending the most time ever getting to the SP.  And I enjoyed every minute of it, no matter how brutal it was.  Originally the expedition was listed as abandoned, suggesting that it was packed in and sent home.  Quite the contrary!

From Explorapoles description of my daily blog:

Here is the daily blog written by American Aaron Lindsau during his voyage : he seems to have endured almost every setback and difficulty possible (coldest temperatures, highest sastrugis, dirtiest snow, strongest winds, worst weather, he had problems with alsmost every part of his equipment, etc.) during his pathetic march to the SP.

As some hold the speed record, he seems to be (on this distance and itinerary at least) the slowest trekker ever. Be ready anyway to read 40 pages of a pathetic voyage.

When you look at it in the high performance perspective, then yes, it was a pathetic attempt.  However, I did not give up.  When that much goes wrong, how many remain in the hunt?

Pathetic Blog
Dramatic and pathetic Blog

Yes, I was not able to make a round trip out of it.  I didn’t plan to kite back, I just planned to ski back.  Slowly learning what others have done, I can see that it was crazy to try something so big for a first major expedition.  Every advantage to overcome every problem I encountered was used.  And, in the end, some things helped and others actually hindered me.

When I read Explorapoles description of the expedition as pathetic, I just had to laugh at myself out loud.  A crippling lung infection, wild conditions, and a stunning list of gear failures made the trek that much more memorable.  As I learned from another explorer this past year, I feel much better to have failed in the trip goal under the worst conditions rather than making it under the easiest conditions.  It’s difficult to explain this and I hope to clarify this more in my book, Antarctic Tears, planned for release at the end of this year.