Are you warm? Are you comfortable? Are you sitting in a chair or a couch? Be sure to surround yourself with your loved ones, because it’s sure to get a little chilly.
With those words, Eric Larsen opens a door into an arctic world that very few people will ever know.
Thanks to a new film by Larsen, his partner Ryan Waters, and Animal Planet, we all have the opportunity to step inside the world of the arctic explorer, and it’s awesome, frightening, suspenseful, and inspiring.
The two-hour special “Melting: Last Race To The Pole” premieres Wednesday, December 9, at 9-11 PM ET/PT on Animal Planet. It is a must-watch for anyone who loves expeditions, the outdoors, or even just a good tale of struggle against the odds.
Larsen passed along a sneak preview of the show, and it blew my mind. From dragging a 325-pound sled over towering ice fractures to swimming across open arctic waters, the journey is as daunting as it gets.
The plot is simple: Waters and Larsen left Ellesmere Island in Canada in an attempt to beat the record of 49 days to the pole during the Last North expedition in Spring 2014. They had to cross more than 400 miles of the most difficult terrain imaginable in weather far below zero.
Unassisted, they had just their legs to propel themselves, with no food drops or any support.
The video — shot on the ice entirely by the duo — is stunning and well edited into an emotional and riveting account. Even knowing the outcome, I watched with suspense as the men undertook an expedition that few will ever dream to attempt.
Beyond the outright difficulty of the expedition, Larsen and Waters use the film to explain how climate change is making the trip from land to the North Pole nearly impossible due to diminishing ice pack. The environmental message is subtle, but firmly embedded in the tale of these explorers who clearly care about the places they visit.
Set your calendar to watch Melting on Dec. 9, 9-11 p.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet. It’s a great tale of modern adventure, and one that may never happen again.