NORWEGIAN POLAR EXPLORER BORGE OUSLAND AND FRENCH PROFESSIONAL ADVENTURER VINCENT COLLIARD HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE UNSUPPORTED CROSSING OF THE ST. ELIAS-WRANGLER ICE FIELD. AFTER 19 DAYS OF INTENSE ADVENTURES, THEY CULMINATED THEIR POLAR EXPEDITION OF 270 MILES ON THE ICE FOR THEIR THIRD GLACIER CROSSING.
As part of the Alpina & Icelegacy project, Borge Ousland and Vincent Colliard will be crossing the world's 20 largest icecaps on earth over the course of next 10 to 15 years. Pushing themselves to their physical limits and amid some of the harshest landscapes on Earth. These glaciers are located in 10 countries in both northern and southern hemispheres, the majority being found at high latitudes. The overall goal of the project is to raise awareness about the ice melt and initiate long-term activism. This project was born in 2010, after Borge and Vincent sailed around the North Pole, through the North West passage, during 25 days. This expedition made them realise the pace at which the ice was disappearing, as the same trip took three years for the explorer Amundsen a century ago. After, this eye opening experience, Borge and Vincent created the Ice Legacy project.
Last May, Vincent Colliard and Borge Ousland skied across the 430km of the St Elias-Wrangell icecap in Alaska. The Saint-Elias Mountains extend southeastwards from the Wrangell Mountains to cross South along the border between Canada and the United States – an area of exceptional natural beauty. This expedition marked the third journey of Icelegacy. In supporting this expedition, Alpina watches are helping to raise awareness about the retreat of the polar glacier and the dwindling of fresh water resources.
The expedition started on April 21st, when Borge Ousland and Vincent Colliard landed on the Novatak glacier Alaska, after months of preparation. From there onwards, they pulled their sledges on skis for about 400km. In 19 days, the explorers managed to cover more than 20km each day, struggling to carry their equipment onwards in the ice and steep terrain. The navigation on the ice was very challenging and dangerous due to cracks in the ice that formed unexpectedly, and the pools of water that surrounded them. The surface of the ice is not smooth and slick like an ice-skating rink, as you might expect. Instead, it is uneven and undulating. These uneven sun cups make it difficult to walk, for this reason both explorers were equipped with crampons on their boots. To keep up with the extreme physical demands on their bodies, the men had to eat a high-calorie diet, mostly composed of crisps, beef jerky, nuts, chocolate, dried fruits and cereal biscuits.
Both adventurers wore the Alpina Horological Smartwatch to measure their activity and sleep during the crossing. Powered by the latest technology, the Alpina Horological Smartwatch is capable of bi-directional communication with the Iphone and Android app. The patented sensor-fusion engine tracks activity and sleep patterns with high accuracy. The Alpina smartwatch was designed to withstand rain and shock. Vincent and Borge could follow in real-time during the expedition their activity and sleep information, which were presented, on the traditional analog dials of their watches. On average, both explorers walked 30 000 to 45 000 steps per day. Vincent Colliard commented, " The Horological Smartwatch is the perfect companion for my adventure. Indeed, I know that I can set off on a long hike, use the smart features, all without needing to juice it up again! ":
Despite the rain, the explorers successfully crossed the Copper River on May 10th to arrive at the pick-up point. The Copper River is a 290-mile river in south-central Alaska known for its extensive delta ecosystem, and for its variety of different species of fish.
During the whole expedition, the explorers collected samples of ice every night for future water analysis, as they had just begun to collaborate with Jeffrey Welker, and scientists from the University of Anchorage. It makes sense for them to collaborate with the scientific community because they don't want Icelegacy to be only an adventure project, they want it to serve to provide scientists with data, which could help in educating the public in a more profound way.
These ice caps are a huge source of fresh water and represent an integral part of our ecosystem. Understanding these glaciers better means that we will be able to act efficiently towards their protection. For this reason, Vincent and Borge believe truly that sharing their love for ice can make a difference for future generations. Through this expedition, they hope to provide enough information to generate a visual understanding of the disappearing icecaps. Vincent Colliard commented, "People need to realize that this melting process is not only a natural mechanism, but it's also accelerated by man's industries."
Their next Ice Legacy challenge?
Borge and Vincent will cross the Chugach icecap, where they will sample the ice for water isotopes and black carbon. After Alaska, they will focus on Canada where there are 7 of the 20 largest icecaps.
About the Explorers
Borge Ousland – The Legend
"Borge Ousland is undoubtedly the most experienced living polar explorer," National Geographic Adventure. With more than 20 years of record-breaking Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, Norwegian Borge Ousland became the first explorer to complete a solo expedition to the North Pole without resupplying. As a Nansen and Amundsen heir, he was also the first to cross the Antarctic continent alone. Borge is also a renowned photographer and documentary filmmaker who has already received numerous international awards for his films and expeditions.
Vincent Colliard – The Successor
"Vincent Colliard is a young adventurer, energetic and with a strong character, who has the unique ability to forge ahead when anyone else would give up." Borge Ousland Frenchman Vincent Colliard, 28 years old, is an experienced adventurer, having participated in expeditions across Norway, Patagonia, Alaska and the Himalayas. In 2010, he was a crewmember aboard "Northern Passage" with his mentor Borge Ousland during the historic first expedition/circumnavigation of the Arctic Ocean ever completed in a single season. Once again with his mentor, he completed the first crossing of Nordauslandet glacier in Spitsbergen in 2012.
About Alpina & Ice Legacy
By supporting the IceLegacy project by Borge Ousland, the only man to have crossed the North and South poles alone, and Vincent Colliard, young adventurer and Borge Ousland's partner, Alpina Watches wants to promote the protection of the glaciers, an environmental and climate issue that is dire yet little known, yet of enormous importance for the future of our planet.
The project combines athletic prowess, human adventure and the sharing of knowledge about the polar environment with as many people as possible, so that future generations may enjoy the fascinating and priceless legacy of glaciers and icecaps: believe, preserve, transmit.
Borge and Vincent will measure their effort with the Alpina Horological Smartwatch. The watch will measure the distance covered, their steps, calories burned and sleep profile during the entire crossing. The watch will also wake them up when their body is most ready for their effort.
About the Alpina Horological Smartwatch
The Alpina Horological Smartwatch is the synthesis of high-tech innovation and traditional Swiss watch craftsmanship. There is no digital screen on the Alpina Horological Smartwatch. Instead, the beautiful laser cut hands on the watch dial display information in analog form. The Alpina Horological Smartwatches retain their natural classic beauty and can deliver the benefits of the quantified self, all without ever having to recharge a battery.
The 100m/330ft water-resistant Alpina Horological Smartwatches is capable of bi-directional communication with iPhone and Android apps. The Alpina Horological Smartwatch supports the following functionalities:
- Always-on time & date
- Activity tracking
- Sleep monitoring
- Sleep cycle alarms
- Get-Active alerts
- Adaptive coaching
- World Time
- 2 years battery life / 100m-300ft water-resistant
The sensor-fusion engine tracks activity and sleep patterns with high accuracy. Activity and sleep information is presented in real-time using beautiful traditional analog dials. The watch synchronizes automatically with applications on Apple and Android smartphones. On the iOS and Android apps, simple and easy-to-understand graphics highlight how much one has moved and slept during the day, week, or month. This data will assist users to better understanding themselves, and along with appropriate goal setting and intelligent coaching, will improve their well-being. Better sleep and a more active lifestyle are widely recognized as simple, but effective, positive behavioral changes.
ALPINA, THE ORIGINAL SWISS SPORT WATCH
ALPINE SPORTS WATCH MANUFACTURING - SINCE 1883
Alpina, famous for its red triangle signature, is an independent, family-owned fine watchmaking manufacture based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1883, Alpina's watchmaking history spans more than 130 years.
A true pioneer of the Swiss watchmaking industry, Alpina has been the source of numerous patents and innovative calibers. Alpina invented the concept of the Swiss sport watch, as we know it today, with the birth of its legendary Alpina 4 in 1938. Today, Alpina is one of the very few independent Swiss watch companies, which develops, produces and assembles its movements entirely in-house. Alpina proposes five in-house calibers: the AL-980 Tourbillon; the AL-718 World Timer; the AL-950 Automatic Regulator; the AL-710 Automatic Small Date, and, most recently, the AL-760 Flyback Chronograph, featuring the new and patented "Direct Flyback" technology.
Faithful to its long tradition of innovation, in 2015 Alpina introduced the first connected Swiss Made Horological Smartwatch, thereby creating an entirely new watch category in the Swiss watch industry.
Alpina's mission is to design and engineer luxury sport watches that operate with the greatest precision and reliability possible in the most demanding sporting environments, like the Alps.