“In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music,
meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience.” Gustav Mahler
Dixie Dansercoer’s polar career started unassumingly 19 years ago during the Trans-Greenland Expedition. He and his team completed what was then in 1995 an astonishing 700 kilometer trek in just over three weeks. Dixie had no ambition at the time to make a profession out of polar exploration nor did he seek an audience. He simply soaked up the awe-inspiring experience and tried to place his humble adventure in the context of an otherwise full life.
One year later, Dixie received a phone call from Alain Hubert that would profoundly change the course of his existence. Alain invited Dixie to be his team partner on what would become the record-breaking South Through the Pole Expedition of 1997-1998. The Belgian duo would autonomously traverse the Antarctic continent, completing almost 4000 kilometers in 100 days.
Since then, Dixie’s accomplishments in both the Arctic region and Antarctica have been vast and profound. He has shared the Antarctic continent with his wife, Julie Brown, and Rudy Van Snick during the Antarctica 2000 Expedition. He has struggled through the unforgiving Arctic Ocean with Alain Hubert for 69 days during the 2002 expedition The Ultimate Arctic. In 2005, together with Troy Henkels, he dared to attempt a crossing of treacherous ice in the Bering Straight Odyssey. In 2007, Dixie and Alain broke more records together during their successful Arctic Arc Expedition, completing over 1800 kilometers in 106 days. Dixie has allowed himself one sailing expedition to Antarctica, In the Wake of the Belgica, in 2008. His most recent grand exploit was together with fellow Belgian Sam Deltour in 2011-2012, the record-setting Antarctic ICE Expedition, in which Dixie and Sam covered 5013 kilometers in 74 days in the largely unexplored territory of East Antarctica.
When not on the ice, Dixie resides both in Belgium and in a second “hideaway” on the Oregon Coast. He and Julie have a family with four children – Jasper, Evelien, Thijs & Robin. Together with Stefan Maes, they run Polar Circles.
Eric grew up in Iqaluit, Nunavut where dog sledding, kite-skiing, and cold weather survival skills were learned at an early age. His passion for expeditions has resulted in more than 15,000km travelled via kite-ski. His adventures have taken him across the Northwest Passage, to the Gobi Desert, twice to the South Pole, and across the Greenland Icecap six times.
Eric holds the world record for the longest distance kite-skied in 24 hours; he has been nominated for National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year Award and received the Outdoor Idol Award in 2007. Eric’s photo was recently published in The National Geographic Magazine.
When asked about his first memory of Greenland, Eric shared this story:
At the age of 14 I visited West Greenland as part of a family trip. Our goal was to hike between the towns of Sarfannguit and Sisimiut. I was struck by how similar to home Greenland was, yet how simple policy changes had benefitted Greenland in ways still lacking back home in Canada. Overall I was impressed by how clean the towns were, how much importance people placed on Inuit/Greenlandic traditions such as dog sledding and kayaking, and the seamless integration of Danish and Greenlandic customs.
Eric’s first adventure was at the age of 10:
My sister Sarah (then age 9) and I departed on an overnight hiking trip across the tundra to find the headwaters of a small local stream. My parents has us practice camping on the front deck for a week until we could light our MSR stove, read a map, and communicate using the VHF radio.
For this newest adventure, Eric has high hopes and realistic expectations.
I enjoy the nomadic experience, moving place to place from one day to another. I love the variety of daily life on an expedition, with each new day presenting new & different challenges from the last. There is no ‘9 to 5’ on a kiting expedition!