I will be speaking in Driggs, Idaho, on August 9, 2017, at 7pm about the total eclipse in eastern Idaho. This eclipse will streak all the way across America. My inspiring talk will focus on photography, viewing, and safety.
This won’t be a boring science and photography talk. Instead, I will entertain, educate, and inspire the audience.
Why does toilet paper matter to someone watching the total eclipse on August 21, 2017? Attend the talk and you’ll find out. It’s more important than you think.
I’ll add fun, laughs, and guidance to what the totality will be like. Plus, I’ll provide plenty of pointers on photography and viewing.
In the News
Read more about my talk in this Teton Valley News article.
Watch the Total Eclipse Guide Trailer
Where will you be on August 21, 2017? I hope you will watch the total eclipse with the rest of the country. It promises to be the most amazing event of the year.
Purchase your guides here:
This book is a keepsake. Get a copy for each of your family members.
Keepsake Notes Section
- Who was I with?
- What did I see?
- What did I feel?
- What did the people with me think?
- Where did I stay?
Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide Photography Locations
Photography Filters for a Total Eclipse
Where will the sun be?
Get the Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide
I’m now able to share part of my book, Antarctic Tears, with the world through my blog. Sastrugi Press has generously offered to give the reading public tidbits, samples, and the occasional complete chapter recounting my expedition in Antarctica. Below you will find Antarctic Tears day 64 for your reading entertainment.
Amazon.com stock issue: People have been asking about my book being unavailable at Amazon.com. Apparently Amazon is slow at restocking the book. But, if you order it, they’ll process and get you the book quickly. I did a test a few months ago when it was out of stock, and it only took a few more days than usual to receive a copy.
My trek set the world record for the longest expedition ever for the trip from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole, a distance of 720 miles. It was definitely a trip that won the award for perseverance, grit, and never giving up in the face of overwhelming odds. Learn a little about what a day in the life of an Antarctic Polar Explorer is like with Antarctic Tears day 64.
Without further adieu, Day 64 of Antarctic Tears, pages 254-257
Antarctic Tears Day 64
Thursday, January 3, 2013, Day 64
While crossing the opposite side of the valley from Colossus Hill, my right hip throbbed, as though I had fallen on it badly. Looking back, I saw nothing amiss with the alignment of the rope traces from my harness to the lead sled. Inspecting the sled tracks, they appeared to be pulling slightly to the right of the ski tracks, so I knew something was wrong. Finally, thinking to check the connection between the front and rear sleds, I discovered a minor misalignment, an inch if that. Since I became desperate to eliminate the source of the pain, I stopped and loosened the clove hitch around the carabiner holding the sleds together, then shifted the knot. The change was minor, but I made it anyway.
Oh, what a difference it made. In a mere 100 yards of towing, the burning in my hip subsided and my lower back felt much better. I was relieved. I had checked everything over the past couple of days and hadn’t found anything obviously amiss in the lead sled. That’s where I guessed the problem would be. I was wrong. The trailing sled pulled to the right, causing the pain. Even though each sled had five, half-inch- deep runners to make them track, being one inch off center between the sleds was more than enough to induce serious pain. This made me wish again that I had a single light-weight sled to carry the complete round-trip load. I contemplated what changes it made in my travel.
Visions of myself already making the Pole and attempting the round trip filled my head, driving me mad. The anger was wasted energy. I knew that having been ill cost me the round trip attempt. Plus, the two critical travel tips from Hannah and Vilborg came far too late. Having a fancier sled would not have changed my being sick nor my inefficiency.
At 3 p.m., I descended another steep hill. At first it had the same characteristics as Colossus Hill, so much so that I thought my naming had been premature. That was, until I skied to the first hulking sastrugi. This one ended with sheer six-foot drop-offs. Skiing off them was too dangerous. Even if I were not towing sleds or on skis, I would not have jumped down onto the ice, for it was a serious drop that had a sloped landing. There was no way I was able to lower the sleds down these faces, so I shortened the traces to five feet, as short as I could tolerate, and looked for a way around. If the fuel-bearing sled fell off one of these hills, one of the cans could be crushed by the impact, spilling white gas all over everything. I needed to be extra careful. If the sleds took off or rolled over, they would pull me with them, leading to potentially serious injury.
Time after time, I encountered more sheer drops, up to eight vertical feet. Looking down, I was aghast. There the drop-offs were, impeding progress. When I tried to photograph the drop-off, there was no point of reference, so it looked insignificant. This was where having a teammate would have been handy. After descending halfway down the hill, I looked back and saw only a wall of ice, certainly impassible if I were headed north. This gave me the idea for the name of this place: One Way Hill. Had I been able to ski the round trip, both this and Colossus Hill would have proven formidable barriers for the return north. With the constant diversions and slowness, my mileage dropped to below one mile per hour, a rate I hadn’t been below in weeks.
[One Way Hill: 87deg 29’S 82deg 24’W]
“Don’t give up, you’ll be past it all in a few days,” said James Hayes over the satellite phone.
“I’m not going to give up, it’s quite a tough one to get through,” I replied.
“You can do it. If you made it this far, you can do the rest.”
At least I wasn’t in Vilborg’s boots, waiting to starve. On Dec 24th, she had 15 rations and now should have about seven rations remaining for the rest of her journey. She’s only 13 miles ahead of me, so she had far more than seven days to go. If she reverts to the half-ration approach to maintain her unsupported and unassisted, she’ll be starving for at least 10 days. Even though she could not have accepted food assistance to retain her expedition style, I still felt guilty about not having offered after two weeks. It seems no one expected to encounter these conditions, even those with far greater experience.
I didn’t call Kelly tonight, as I had massively blown out my satellite phone budget. Even though I was on the bottom of the planet, I still needed to ensure I did not end in financial disaster upon returning home. At least the text message satellite unit had unlimited messages. One of the satellite messages I received from Wendy Davis was,
“Enjoy the rough and bad parts of this.” Though it was easy for her to write from 7,000 miles away, I knew that after this was all done, her admonition was truth. I have always reveled in figuring my way out of tough situations. It was a thrilling challenge to keep my head in the game and stave off anything else from falling apart in this last push to the South Pole.
Distance: 8.5 nm, Time: 9 hours, Elevation 8,400′ Distance to South Pole: 145 nm
Under the coordination of Sue O’Connor, the Driggs, ID, library is hosting a four party speaker series on travel around the world. The speakers are:
Feb 4, 2016: Charlie Otto, biking in Europe
Feb 11, 2016: Aaron Linsdau, skiing alone to the South Pole
Feb 18, 2016: Alena & John McIntosh, trekking in Nepal after the earthquakes
Feb 25, 2016: Kara Donnelly, hiking in Peru
Valley of the Tetons Driggs Library, Driggs, ID
The Driggs branch of the Valley of the Tetons library is very new. So new, in fact, I had to revert to old school techniques of finding their address. I had to pick up the phone and make a call. Almighty Google didn’t have the answer, their number, address, or anything else.
In no time, Susie Blair, head librarian in Driggs, answered my call. She gave me directions, helpful information, and was overall courteous and helpful with preventing me getting lost. Even though Driggs is a tiny town in eastern Idaho, much of the community is located up in the hills. Some places are impossible to find if you don’t know where you’re going.
Not the Driggs library. It’s one building south of the Driggs court house. The inside of the library was quite large, bigger than I’d expected. And, there was a great presentation room in the back where I gave my talk. The staff had set up a table outside so I could place the print copies of Antarctic Tears as well as the documentary film and the very new and exciting audiobook edition of Antarctic Tears, just out this spring.
The talk was interactive, with people engaging, laughing, and being shocked at the harshness of Antarctica. It’s a tough place. The audience was fun, interactive, and asked some great questions. The group of local kids sitting up front were especially entertaining, as they seemed fully engrossed in the talk. I love making inspirational and motivating talks with audiences of young and old.
Thank you Driggs, Sue O’Connor and Susie Blair, for providing the below videos talking about my presentation and what it meant to the people at the library.
Susie Blair, Driggs Librarian, on Aaron Linsdau as a speaker:
Sue O’Connor, Driggs program coordinator, on Aaron Linsdau as a speaker:
Mountain Story Program
I’m speaking at the Mountain Story Program Festival put on by the Teton County Library of Jackson Hole on Jan 12, 2016, at 7pm:
In this presentation, I’ll be telling the stories of my expeditions in Antarctica and Greenland. My goal is to make the audience feel the energy, excitement, and cold of the Arctic and Antarctic. Both are harsh places, though completely different. The interior of Antarctica is completely devoid of life, save for a few crazy explorers like myself. The Greenland tundra is full of life, though it clings on in the short summer.
Both are beautiful in their own right. I would go back to both immediately given the chance. If you’re able to ever go there, please do!
Radio Media Interview
This morning I was interviewed by Cassandra Lee on Jackson Hole radio station 89.1 KHOL for the Mountain Story program. You can listen to the interview below.
KHOL is a community funded radio station, so they’re very active in supporting community activities.
It’s an excellent day when my publisher has the same crazy thinking as me, the motivational speaker. My theory is that the more you give away to help people out, the more will come back to you. This is a truism of life. If you help enough people out, good things will boomerang. (As such, I’m posting a free Antarctic Tears chapter 9 right here.)
This is what I’m going to test out with a free Antarctic Tears chapter.
My goal is to post complete and free chapters from my book, Antarctic Tears. I want people to experience what it’s like to dedicate your life to an objective. It’s difficult to put everything on the line. I did that by leaving my job and trekking across Antarctica by myself. And now, I’m going to let people experience what I did through my book.
The best part is, Sastrugi Press is also producing an audiobook version of my book. It will be available in direct MP3 download, CD box set, and USB memory stick MP3 versions. The printed and ebooks are already available. With more options, more people should be able to enjoy the book. That’s my hope.
This isn’t to discourage people from purchasing the book, ebook, or soon-to-be audio book. Rather, it’s to encourage it. It does sound a little crazy to share a free Antarctic Tears chapter. But isn’t skiing across Antarctica alone crazy, too?
I am also available for motivational speaking engagements around the world. You can book or contact me here.
And now, the free Antarctic Tears chapter 9…
Just released, Antarctic Tears Feature Film on DVD, is now available for purchase. See what it’s like to live in Antarctica for three months alone. Experience the beauty and hostility of the polar plateau.
Viewers will begin to understand the little known world of the polar regions. With no life present for hundreds of miles, this is as close to being on the moon as one can be. In the age of online everything, it’s impossible to surf the web and purchase a discount ticket to the interior of Antarctica. Travelocity has no “South Pole Station” option.
This film explores what drives someone to do something seemingly insane. This engineer was anything but crazy. It takes focus and dedication to even set foot on Antarctica. Forget even thinking of skiing to the South Pole alone. It has only been done by two Americans.
What would it be like to be in a gale force storm in Antarctica, with only a small tent as shelter? This film shows just that. Even if you think the motivation for this expedition is nuts, you’ll see the passion that drove Aaron. Everyone’s goals are different. Some may seem insane. But whatever they might be, you’ll relate to the film on a human level.
It took extraordinary levels of dedication to film this material on continent 7. The risk of frostbite, failure, and equipment damage was constant. Producing and shooting this film was a major undertaking in itself.
The film will make you laugh, cry, gag, and cheer. This film attempts to honestly show what a polar explorer goes through. The emotional impact of failure while being alone for 100’s of miles is difficult to grasp. When everything goes wrong, it takes extraordinary perseverance not to give up.
All of this film was shot on location. Cameras froze. Batteries died. The filmmaker struggled each day to keep moving forward. Rarely has anyone produced a feature-length film of an Antarctic expedition, let alone doing it solo. Most films are produced with a team or a camera crew.
The DVD is an excellent companion to the book Antarctic Tears. Both together are an excellent holiday gift for the explorer or crazy person in your life. Purchase your copy with the below link.
KHOL 89.1 Jackson Interview
It was a pleasure to have a KHOL 89.1 Jackson interview. Brielle Schaeffer had me on the radio for an interview yesterday. We talked about the experience of being in Antarctica, what it took to put the expedition together, and what my plans are for the future.
One of the enjoyable things about being on the radio is the interaction is personal. Radio personalities like Brielle make you comfortable. You have more time than on television to speak with the folks at the station. Being on television is always fun and entertaining, too. But being on the radio has a different feel to it.
Listen to the interview here:
KHOL 89.1 is the Jackson Hole community radio station. Based at the Center for the Arts, the station relies on community funding to keep its programming on the air. As a member, I enjoy knowing that I support the radio station and its mission. They routinely feature authors and local interest stories. These engage the community and share the experience with everyone.
Announcements on KHOL 89.1 Jackson Interview
Being on the radio, I also made the first public announcements of my two new upcoming books. It was fun to broadcast this information on community radio. It also forces me, as an author, to drive both projects to completion. A KHOL 89.1 Jackson interview is the perfect place to do this.
One is a non-fiction work about how to create your own great adventure. It guides you through all the aspects you’ll need to consider to put on a significant adventure. Whether you are planning to row across the Atlantic, climb Denali, or ski across Antarctica,
Writing solid, long-form books is a major undertaking. In fact, I found writing Antarctic Tears more challenging (in some ways!) than skiing across Antarctica alone. The distractions while writing a book are innumerable. There were no real distractions crossing Antarctica. There was only the incessant bad weather and 300 pounds of supplies to keep me occupied.