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Borealis Society East Greenland Expedition group visit the Royal Geographical Society in London


Borealis Society East Greenland Expedition group visit the Royal Geographical Society in London. 

On Thursday 9 March, a group comprising Nigel Bidgood (Head of the Borealis Society), James Waddington (Deputy Head of College), Mary (ex-Mount pupil and Assistant Leader on the Greenland Expedition) and two present Mount students, Ophelia and Maddi visited the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in South Kensington, London. 

The purpose of this visit was to use the Map and Foyle Reading Rooms to access maps of East Greenland together with some of the expedition reports of the relatively few past expeditions that have visited this truly amazing northern-hemisphere wilderness area. The group were able to use the maps and reports to assist in the initial stages of planning The Mount Borealis Society East Greenland Expedition for 2024. The group returned with a list of potential objectives comprising both physical mountaineering and trekking objectives together with academic research objectives relating to the flora of East Greenland and the history and adaptations of the Thule Inuit culture that was indigenous to this area throughout the last one thousand years. 

These potential objectives will now be cascaded by the RGS group to the rest of the expedition group prior to being finalised and adopted for 2024. School expedition groups are not normally now allowed to use the research facilities at the RGS. However, The Mount group were given special permission to do so accompanied by Nigel and James, who both have Fellowships at the RGS. The only stipulation was that only three young expeditioners were allowed to visit in this first visit – hence the need to cascade the results of the research to the rest of the expedition group. 

Everyone really enjoyed the opportunity to visit the RGS and to look around its historic building with all of its visual reminders of famous expeditioners of the past such as Earnest Shackleton and Gino Watkins; the opportunity to actually see Gino Watkins’ kayak made such an indelible link to East Greenland and to our expedition area in particular. The experience certainly left group members excited, and very focussed indeed, on the challenges that lie ahead both in the planning for the expedition and eventually during the 4-5 weeks to be spent mountaineering, trekking and researching in East Greenland during the summer of 2024.

Mary commented;

“The RGS experience really brought home to me the fact that we were now seriously preparing for a challenging, and very exciting, expedition to East Greenland”

Greenland expedition members below Gino Watkins’ famous Angmagssalik kayak at the RGS