Life in the Freezer: South Georgia Expedition
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13 Young Explorers aged 18-23 will depart from the UK on Wednesday 29th October, to participate in a once in a lifetime conservation expedition to the southern Atlantic region below the Antarctic convergence, to South Georgia, one of the last truly pristine and remote wilderness areas left on Earth.Working in partnership with the UK ice breaker patrol vessel HMS Endurance, the youth development charity, BSES Expeditions, will foster personal development by engaging students from various different backgrounds and regions of the UK in valuable climate change and conservation fieldwork. In addition to conducting penguin surveys and investigations into elephant and fur seal populations, the team will also participate in glaciological research studies, contributing to work as part of the International Polar Year.Young Explorers will benefit from interaction with highly experienced researchers and conservationists, who will run sessions sharing their specialist knowledge of the area, ultimately sparking opportunities to debate issues surrounding the Antarctic ecosystems and problems faced in these wilderness areas, leading to a greater understanding of the more general current global situation.Whilst embarking on the adventure phase of the expedition, there will be a training programme that teaches the essential skills required for safe travel in the mountains on the Falkland Islands and retracing the footsteps of British Forces made during the Falklands War. When on South Georgia, the Young Explorers will camp wild amongst the ethereal icescapes and prolific wildlife as they traverse glaciers, snow trek, and ski mountaineer their way to follow in the footsteps of Shackleton.Those taking part will have to be physically fit, enthusiastic and resourceful in order to comfortably live in an unforgiving environment for the duration of the expedition and to bear the mental and physical hardships of such an adventure.2009 will see BSES run two further gap year expeditions; Extreme Arctic, a ten week expedition to Svalbard, a far-flung snowy archipelago on the edge of the Arctic Ocean just 600 miles from the North Pole, where Young Explorers will be man-hauling, cross country skiing and building snow caves to survive; and a Leadership Development Programme culminating in a month-long expedition to northern Norway. The programme spans a period of six months where explorers will be trained as leaders over several weeks, given all the skills to be able to survive a solo 24 hours in extreme conditions, and working towards an NVQ Level 3 in Leadership and Management.For those aged 16- 20 and not taking a gap year, the charity also operates shorter month-long expeditions in the summer. In 2009 these include arctic kayaking in northern Norway, arctic adventure in East Greenland, investigating biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest, and high altitude research studies in the Himalayas all of which explore stunning areas, each one offering a truly once in a lifetime opportunity.Please see www.bses.org.uk for more details.