Further to the article written about White Side Holidays Poland in The Guardian newspaper last autumn we were contacted by a family looking to potentially spend longer than just a week in Zakopane. All we were told was that they needed to gain valuable experience in the mountains and pick up certain skills they required for a trip to South Georgia later this year. Curious as to what they were hoping to learn and do in Zakopane we were surprised to hear that as well as one member of the party needing to learn to ski they would also be looking to take an avalanche course, learn to ski tour, ice climb and take further courses and training in mountain rescue and crevasse rescue.
The family, it turns out were relatives of the famous Antarctic explorer Tom Crean. His granddaughter Aileen, great grandsons Cian and Morgan and Aileen’s partner, Bill.
2016 marks the centenary of one of Tom Crean’s most amazing feats, an historic crossing of South Georgia with Worsley and Shackleton. Keen to honour Tom’s memory, Aileen and the lads set themselves the huge challenge of replicating his historic journey in September later this year.
If you haven’t heard of Tom Crean, there are endless stories, films and photos of his achievements on-line, a quick search will keep you busy for a long while, well worth a couple of hours of your time.
So, from walking in the Irish hills to start a year of training and improving fitness levels they stepped up their training and came to spend a month with us in Zakopane. We thoroughly enjoyed looking after these guys and it was a pleasure to see how they pushed themselves with every challenge that was thrown their way. A couple of highlights for us were watching Bill’s progress from his first day on skis to then sending him down steep, icy slopes a week or so later (all in the name of improving technique of course!) and watching Aileen skiing off piste for the first time (rolling may be a more precise term!).
We’re all really looking forward to following their adventures later this year and now that their website and Facebook page is live you can follow their progress either on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/South-Georgia-Centenary-Traverse-1916-2016-with-Tom-Creans-Family-1076744512375856/?fref=ts or via their website here: http://tomcreanfamilyexpedition.com/
We’ll be keeping you up to date on their adventures as they get closer to the big date, September 24th!