Climate Voices

February 25, 2016
By: Nicole Rom, Former Executive Director

Our Founder Treks North Again

WillCanoeOur Founder, Will Steger, takes an an annual expedition in the North Country to test his physical fitness and monitor changes in the climate.

This year, he will depart from Ely on March 7; the same day he left for the North Pole in 1986!

When Will Steger left for the North Pole, he departed from the Ward Hunt ice shelf, which is no longer there. In fact, you cannot depart for a North Pole expedition from land anymore because all the ice shelves have disintegrated from human induced climate change.

This year’s solo expedition will take Will to Canada, north of the Quetico and will end in Ely.

Will makes these annual expeditions now as part of his eyewitness testimony to a changing climate. Each expedition provides a barometer of the changes in the climate. Since he began doing these four years ago, he has noticed record changes each year. To Will these changes are “unbelievable;” from record snow, to record early break-ups of ice, to record late break-ups.  In the last four years he has seen two month variations in the break up of the ice. Will speaks of more extremes and wild unpredictability with the ice conditions.

Will loves expeditions at this time of year – when winter is at its end and spring is arriving because he has to be focused “moment to moment” on the break up conditions to be safe. It allows him to continue to document the changes and to keep him current on the state of the climate, as well as fit and active.

Follow Will’s solo journey here.