Eric Larsen’s Last North Expedition (Day 47): Bears, Mental Struggle, and the Fierce Beauty of the Arctic

 “I couldn’t decide if the Arctic Ocean was trying to swallow us whole or create the worst road block in history. It’s frustrating, scary and overwhelming all wrapped up into one big polar mess of emotions… Still there are few moments when I am not completely in awe of the beauty and power of this place.” –Eric (Day 32) Eric Larsen and expedition partner Ryan Waters have reached day 47 of their Last North expedition, an attempt to break the unsupported ground speed record to the North Pole. Last week they crossed the 87th parallel, marking a distance milestone that sends them into the final stretch of the 500-mile journey. They have 102 miles to go. The duo is finally making decent distance each day, sometimes reaching 17 miles via skis…

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School’s Out for Winter: SnowSchool’s Outdoor Science Classroom

This January, 70 elementary kids filed out of Boise’s Bogus Basin Nordic Center in groups led by SnowSchool volunteer guides. They were bound for the surrounding wilderness and the educational wonders it held. As they ventured through the forest on snowshoes, they caught glimpses of Treasure Valley and the Seven Devils Range in the distance. Along the way, they stopped to learn about the area’s plants and animals, discuss its ecosystem, and conduct a snow pit analysis. For many students, this was their first time snowshoeing—and their first visit to a national forest. For 10 years, the SnowSchool has aimed to introduce students, often those underserved, to winter’s landscape and ecology, and foster an appreciation for nature, as well as a healthy, active lifestyle through snowshoe recreation. Every year, the…

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Remembering Bill Forrest

This week, the climbing community and MSR lost a dear friend. Bill Forrest, the Colorado climbing legend and prolific inventor, died of natural causes snowshoeing on Monarch Pass, near his home in Salida, Colorado. Our thoughts and hearts are with Rosa, his beloved wife, who was snowshoeing with him at his side when he passed.

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