Greenland Ice Cap 2018 – 560kms in 28 days








Days travelled


Kilometres covered

In Nansen’s Footsteps

Film out now

In 2018 Antarctic Heritage Trust took four young explorers 560km across the Greenland ice cap, in an epic expedition honouring Fridtjof Nansen’s first crossing 130 years ago. The explorers included a record-setting trailblazer, a New Zealand endurance athlete, a respected international videographer and an intrepid Australian adventurer (who once slept for nearly three months to overcome a head injury). The team took 28 days to ski across the ice cap dragging sleds behind them. They faced unprecedented levels of snow, Arctic hurricanes and sickness, in a season where only a handful of teams made it across the ice successfully. In Nansen’s Footsteps documents this journey and is the Trust’s third Inspiring Explorers’ film.

Director: Keith Parsons (Inspiring Explorer)
Producer: Belmont Productions
Executive Producer: Antarctic Heritage Trust

With thanks to Kathmandu and Ousland Explorers.

Watch the film

Read the full story

Take a look…

These stunning images from Inspiring Explorer Keith Parsons give an insight into the team’s epic expedition across the Greenland ice cap.

Wildlife and calving ice

, ,
Mike Dawson kayaking in Antarctica

What was your favourite part of the trip? I really enjoyed the structure of the trip. It was amazing to be part of something different from what we normally do when we go on an expedition with a team of kayakers. We were a much bigger group but everyone brought something into the scene that […]

Fridtjof Nansen (10 October 1861-13 May 1930)
Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian explorer who led the first team to cross Greenland in 1888. Nansen was a pioneer in the fields of exploration and oceanography, and was also a diplomat and humanitarian who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Read More >

Connecting with
the spirit of exploration

Antarctic Heritage Trust’s mission is to conserve, share and encourage the spirit of exploration. Through our Inspiring Explorers’ Expeditions, we aim to provide opportunities for young people to experience Antarctica and the polar regions. These expeditions engage people with the legacy and spirit of exploration, inspiring a new generation of explorers.

The Trust’s third Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition sees our team attempt to ski 560km across the Greenland Ice Cap, dragging 60kg sleds behind them. 2018 marks the 130th anniversary of the first crossing of Greenland by iconic Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen.

Read More >

2018 Inspiring Explorers

Brando Yelavich

Bridget Kruger

Hollie Woodhouse

Keith Parsons


After Scott’s Northern Party left Cape Adare in January 1912, the huts on Ridley Beach saw no human visitors for 44 years, just the endless ebb and flow of millions of penguins. When re-discovered, Borchgrevink’s huts were full of snow and ice, and the Northern Party Hut was beginning to collapse. Many of the original contents, including the fitted bunks, the original stove, and many of the stores, clothing and papers were still in place, although deteriorated. The remnants of Borchgrevink’s 1898-1900 Southern Cross expedition were overlaid due to the use of the hut by the six members of the Northern Party.
Between 1956 and 2004, site inspections, removal of the snow and ice, an inventory of artefacts, and some initial restoration work were undertaken by various groups. In 2004, Antarctic Heritage Trust published a Conservation Plan for the site, and began work on fundraising and logistics planning for Cape Adare whilst completing conservation at other Ross Sea sites. Due to its particularly remote location, the site poses a number of logistical challenges. In the 2015/2016 season approximately 1500 artefacts were temporarily moved to Canterbury Museum in New Zealand to undergo conservation treatment.
You have a once in a lifetime chance to view these conserved artefacts before they return to Antarctica, at the 'Breaking the Ice: The First Year in Antarctica' exhibition, which is open now at Canterbury Museum.
#capadareexhibition #capeadare #breakingtheice #conserve #heritage #borchgrevink #firstwinter
@canterburymuseum and @mfatgovtnz @nrk @norwayinaustralia @norskpolarinstitutt
“We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had “suffered, starved, and triumphed, groveled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole.” We had seen God in his splendors, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” Ernest Shackleton – South

#onthisday 20 May 1916, Shackleton, Worsley and Crean finally reached Stromness whaling station, the first hint of civilization they had seen in nearly a year and a half.  They had crossed the previously unmapped rugged interior of South Georgia Island in just 36 exhausting hours after landing in the James Caird, their other three companions too weak to attempt the crossing with them.

The manager of the whaling station barely recognised the men, who were filthy, frostbitten and haggard, yet triumphant knowing their companions from the Endurance stranded at Elephant Island would soon be rescued. 📸 Crean, Shackleton & Worsley at Stromness, public domain

#OTD #Shackleton #Endurance #discover #explore
Breaking the Ice: the first year in Antarctica’ is open now!! A collaboration between Antarctic Heritage Trust and Canterbury Museum, the exhibition features artefacts from Borchgrevink’s huts at Cape Adare, in the first and only ever opportunity to view these historic objects outside of Antarctica. 
In a happy coincidence, 18 May is also International Museum Day – a day to celebrate museums as important means of cultural exchange and enrichment of cultures. It’s a great day to head down and support @CanterburyMuseum.
@AntarcticaNZ @MFATgovtnz @MPIgovtnz @NRK @Norwayinaus @norskpolarinstituut
#capeadareexhibition #capeadare #breakingtheice #conserve#heritage #firsthut #firstwinter #penguins #ice #Antarcticfruitcake#100yearoldfruitcake #watercolour #1899treecreeper#edwardwilsonwatercolour #robertfalconscott #firstbuilding#borchgrevink #worldmuseumday
Today, May 17 is Norwegian Constitution Day! Tomorrow, artefacts from Norwegian-born explorer Carsten Borchgrevink's huts will go on display at @canterburymuseum Christchurch in a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the objects while they are temporarily in New Zealand for conservation. 
The buildings at Cape Adare were the first ever erected on the Antarctic continent, in 1899. This is the only place in the world where humanity’s first building survives to the present day. Antarctic Heritage Trust is working to stabilise the buildings and the objects they contain for the international community so the story of the first Antarctic winter can continue to inspire for years to come.

You can see the artefacts at the exhibition, 'Breaking the Ice: The First Year in Antarctica'. Head to www.nzaht.org/pages/antarctic-artefacts-exhibited to find out all the details. 📸Borchgrevink's expedition crew
Credit: Canterbury Museum

#norwegianconstitutionday #capadareexhibition #capeadare #breakingtheice #conserve #heritage #borchgrevink #firstwinter #tbt #robertfalconscott
Over 1500 artefacts from Borchgrevink's huts at Cape Adare were taken to a specialist lab at @canterburymuseum , New Zealand where experts from Antarctic Heritage Trust conserved them.

The huts were built by Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink’s expedition in 1899 and later used by Captain Scott’s party in 1911. The buildings were the first in Antarctica and are the only examples left of humanity’s first building on any continent. Artefacts include everything the men needed to survive the Antarctic winter, from food items, clothing and scientific equipment.

The 'Breaking the Ice: The First Year in Antarctica' exhibition opening this Saturday 18 May will be the one and only opportunity to see some of these artefacts on display before they are returned.

Find out more at nzaht.org 📸 AHT. Trust specialist conservators celebrate conserving 1500 items. From left Josefin, Sue, Nicola and Ciaran

#capadareexhibition #capeadare #breakingtheice #conserve #heritage #borchgrevink #firstwinter #tbt #robertfalconscott
“Never stop because you are afraid–you are never so likely to be wrong. Never keep a line of retreat: it is a wretched invention. The difficult is what takes a little time. The impossible is what takes a little longer.”– Fridtjof Nansen

#onthisday in 1930, Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen died aged 68. He received a state funeral.

Nansen was an explorer, oceanographer, statesman, inventor, diplomat and humanitarian, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his work repatriating almost half a million prisoners of World War 1. This led to the introduction of the Nansen Passport, a universal travel document for displaced people

He led the first expedition team to cross the Greenland ice cap in 1888, utlising several of his own inventions including the Nansen Sledge and Nansen Cooker. Our Inspiring Explorers honoured this crossing in 2018 in their own 560km ski across the ice cap, 130 years after Nansen. 
See the film 'In Nansens' Footstep's at nzaht.org.

Read more about the 'father of polar exploration' who paved the way for the likes of Shackleton and Scott at https://nzahtstg.wpengine.com/nansen/. #explore #discover #Greenland #Nansen #InspiringExplorers2018

Photos: public domain
Only one week to go until exhibition opening!

#breakingtheice @canterburymuseum
The British Antarctic Expedition (1898–1900) team were not only the first to winter over in Antarctica, they also undertook the first serious exploration of the continent.

Plans to explore inland however, were thwarted by weather, the men's inexperience and the impassable mountains behind Cape Adare. For most of the year, Borchgrevink's party was limited to short journeys around Robertson Bay. 
Although they didn’t venture far, the men learned valuable lessons about travelling in Antarctica, particularly how swiftly deadly storms can arise and how easily the sea ice can break apart, leaving travellers marooned. 
This photo was taken in April 1899 of the men climbing the Adare Peninsula after spending three nights marooned in the ice during a sledging trip. 📸 @canterburymuseum 
#capeadareexhibition #capeadare #breakingtheice #conserve #heritage #firstwinter #Borchgrevink
AHT was thrilled to invite Olympic kayaker @mrmikedawson , to join the Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula as a kayaking mentor. 
Mike has kayaked all around the world in the harshest environments and the most remote rivers, from the Nile to rivers in Chile, Uganda and Pakistan, to name a few. But what did he think of kayaking in Antarctica..? "I’d been told that it’s big and that it’s hard to describe. What I came away with was that it is hard to describe what you see there. There are so many things that that if you took them away individually and put them in another environment they would each be spectacular on its own merits, but they are all in one huge landscape. Everywhere you look, there are glaciers flowing into the ocean, you’ve got whales, beautiful pristine water, mountains in the distance, and we are just seeing what is along the coastline – everything is just massive. It makes everything else you’ve ever seen, tiny." Read about kayaking mentor Mike's first ever Antarctic-based kayaking experience in his post-expedition interview at www.inspiringexplorers.com. 📸 Mike Dawson/AHT; Georgie Archibald/AHT; Alexander Hillary/AHT

#inspiringexplorers2019 #explore #inspire #discover #antarctica #frontier @oneoceanexp
Before the world had heard of Scott and Shackleton, another explorer hatched a plan to spend a year in Antarctica. He was Carsten Borchgrevink. He and his team proved it was possible for humans to survive the Antarctic winter.

The 10 men spent the last winter of the century living in a tiny, cramped hut (with another hut for their supplies), perched on the edge of a narrow wind-swept spit, surrounded by towering cliffs at remote Cape Adare at the northern reaches of the Ross Sea.

Despite the many difficulties they faced, they conducted significant scientific and meteorological observations, mapped the Cape Adare region, made sledging journeys over the sea ice, and completed a ski journey to a point that was furthermost south in terms of exploration, at that time.

Today, those huts still stand at Cape Adare, the only example left of human's first dwelling on any continent.

Learn more about the crew, their achievements and the challenges they faced at 'Breaking the Ice: The First Year in Antarctica', our upcoming exhibition in partnership with @CanterburyMuseum opening 18 May. 📸Canterbury Museum; Antarctic Heritage Trust

#capeadareexhibition #capeadare #breakingtheice #conserve #heritage #firsthut #firstwinter #firstbuilding #borchgrevink
Every year a selection of the artefacts Antarctic Heritage Trust cares for in the historic explorer bases are inspected and photographed to track the stability of the collection as a whole.

The conservation team checks for any retreatment required and schedules ongoing maintenance accordingly. The polar environment is uncontrolled and at the whim of the elements, unlike a museum, so careful observation is required. Metal objects such as the primus stove pictured are particularly susceptible to humidity and therefore corrosion. Items in Shackleton's Nimrod Hut, Cape Royds were last treated between 2005-2008.

Over 20,000 objects left behind by Ernest Shackleton, Robert Falcon Scott, Carsten Borchgrevink and Sir Edmund Hillary have been conserved so far as part of the the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project, which is the world's largest cold-climate conservation programme. 📸 Antarctic Heritage Trust

#conserve #discover #explore #Antarctica #Shackleton
Ever wondered who the first people were to make Antarctica their home for a year? Led by Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink, 10 men, 120 years ago, spent a winter in a small hut located at Cape Adare 700km north of modern-day Scott Base (New Zealand's Antarctic base). They didn’t know what they would find once they made landfall, and what this #firstwinter would bring them. Some years later in 1911 polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott's Northern Party would also stay at the Cape Adare site. 
Learn more about what life was like for these pioneers of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration and see some of their original items they left behind at the upcoming ‘Breaking the Ice’ exhibition, a collaboration between Antarctic Heritage Trust and @CanterburyMuseum, which opens on 18 May. 📸Canterbury Museum

#capeadareexhibition #capeadare #breakingtheice #conserve #heritage #firsthut #firstwinter #firstbuilding #borchgrevink

Canterbury Museum Antarctica New Zealand New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry for Primary Industries Norwegian Embassy in Australia Norsk Polarinstitutt