RisK Management

Safety has its inherent risks...

The Oxford dictionary defines safety as "freedom from danger or risk." All Ice Blink trips have inherent risks. To deny the existence of risk is simply to be dishonest and as a result to increase the risk. I believe “risk management” to be a much more honest term, and risk management is of primary importance to me. While I will never be able to eliminate all risk from an Arctic expedition, I work hard to understand the risks we take, to mitigate those risks, and ensure that no unnecessary risk is taken.

I Cut No Corners When It Comes to Training and Experience

I cut no corners when it comes to guide training, experience and safety equipment. Many years ago, I began my guiding career by graduating from both the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Apprenticeship Program and the National Outdoor Leadership School. At different times in my career I have been extensively involved in creating and providing guide training courses for several organizations. I am a founding member of the Association of Canadian Sea Kayak Guides, and was a key designer of their leadership course curriculum.

First Aid Training

All of my assistant guides are trained and certified in first aid. I am certified as an Emergency Medical Responder by the Canadian Red Cross. This certification allows me to work on the local ambulance crew in the winter months which has provided me with a greater depth of experience dealing with emergency first aid and stressfull situations. Prior to this, I was certified in Advanced Wilderness First Aid and Medicine by Wilderness Alert for over 20 years. 

Emergency Communication

We carry an Iridium satellite phone on our trips, as well as a Personal Locator Beacon, a deLorme in-Reach, and first aid and repair kits. Whenever it is legally possible, we also carry a 12 gauge shotgun with a variety of both lethal and non-lethal ammunition.

Hard Knocks Experience

But much more importantly I believe there is no substitute for old fashioned hard knocks in the field experience - and that's something I have plenty of. I have logged thousands of days in the field both working and pursuing my personal passions. I have worked and played in a variety of ecosystems, from the dry Patagonian steppe country to the most northern reaches of the High Arctic. From the wet, stormy Canadian west coast to some of the highest mountain peaks our continent has to offer.

Knowing What To Do When Things Go Wrong

I've been in this business long enough to know that sometimes things can and do go wrong - especially when dealing with locations as remote as the Arctic. What becomes important is how we react to those misadventures, and having the experience and judgement to make the best out of a bad situation.