Posted by: csdailyblog | April 20, 2011

Polar Explorer and Climber Speaks at Conserve

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Conserve School English Teacher Jeff Rennicke contributed the following post and accompanying photos.

On Monday, April 18th, Conserve School students heard a profound message: All your dreams begin with a single step. That message is all the more powerful coming from someone who has literally traveled the globe.

In 2010, renowned polar explorer Eric Larsen traveled to the top, the bottom, and the roof of our planet. On this historic “Save The Poles” expedition, Larsen became the first person in history to travel to the North Pole, the South Pole, and the summit of Mount Everest in a single 365-day period and one of only 15 people ever to reach all three points in their lifetime. The expedition was meant not only to make history, but to raise awareness of our potential future. “Climber George Mallory is famous for saying he climbed Everest ‘because it is there’,” Larsen told our CS2 students. “My message is that if we don’t work to understand and protect our planet from global warming, these fragile, beautiful and wild places may not be there in the future.”

With music, movie clips, wonderful photography and inspiring words, Larsen spun the tale of this record-breaking feat and of the influence of global warming on even this far-flung, ice-covered locations. He spoke of falling through the ice into the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean, walking in the footprints of polar bears, getting caught in white-out conditions at -40F near the South Pole, and of the joy and awe he felt standing atop Mount Everest, the highest point in the world.  “I am just an average guy,” Larsen said to the young adventurers of CS2 while he spun his tales of adventure and then let students try on the array of high-tech mountain climbing gear he had used on his record-setting expedition. “You are already 5 steps ahead of where I was when I was your age because of the opportunity a place like Conserve School can offer you. Your dreams may seem daunting and unachievable at times,” he said. “But remember, it all begins with a single step.”

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