CRESTED BUTTE, Colo., Nov. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Polar adventurer and expedition guide Eric Larsen along with world renowned outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear company Jack Wolfskin are pleased to announce their first annual BIPOC Polar Scholarship. The scholarship will cover all expenses for six BIPOC individuals to participate in Eric’s level 1 polar training course on Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota. The eight-day course is designed to teach the skills associated with modern-day polar travel while completing a ‘mini’ expedition on Lake of the Woods. All necessary gear, equipment, travel costs, and course fees will be provided thanks to a generous donation from Jack Wolfskin.
“This course is about training the next generation of polar adventurers and expedition guides while removing any barriers for participation,” commented Eric Larsen. “Equally important, the scholarship highlights the incredible story of Matthew Henson, an African American explorer who was an integral team member in Robert Peary’s North Pole expeditions in the early 1900’s.”
An accomplished polar adventurer and mountaineer, Larsen has completed more North and South Pole expeditions than any other American in history and in 2010 was the first and only person to successfully complete expeditions to the South Pole, North Pole and the summit of Mount Everest in a continuous 365-day period. In 2014, Larsen completed what will most likely be the last ever human-powered full (from land) North Pole expedition in history.
Despite a recent battle with colorectal cancer, Larsen has been planning the academy for several years while engaging with members of the BIPOC adventure community. As a result, Minnesota winter adventurer Emily Ford will serve as co leader for the training and two prior polar training participants Erick Cedeño and Danica Carey will assist as well. The three along with Rohan Freeman who grew up in Jamaica and is the first African American to climb the Seven Summits, will form the selection committee.
More recently, Larsen has been working with Jack Wolfskin to develop a winter expedition line of clothing. The German-based manufacturer is stepping up to assist with both clothing and financial support.
“We feel lucky to be able to partner with an experienced and thoughtful professional like Eric for the Polar Training Academy,” said Brad Potts, Director Brand & Creation. “From a product stand point, this is just another step in our development process. More importantly, however, Jack Wolfskin is committed to making the outdoors inclusive for all and reinforces that “discovery” can happen for everyone.”
The course runs January 20-28th 2024. The deadline to apply is December 1st, 2023. The winners will be selected from an array of criteria and selected on December 8th, 2023. To learn more and apply please visit http://www.ericlarsenexplore.com/scholarship/.
The Polar Academy is also made possible through support by Fischer Skis. Uvex, OneWay, Baffin, Therm-a-Rest, MSR, Stanley, Sierra Designs, Ignik and Seirus Innovation are providing gear and equipment for the group as well.
SOURCE Eric Larsen