Shifting Ice + Changing Tides is an all-female expedition to ski first descents and raise awareness to climate change and conservation issues through storytelling and data collection. They depart today.
Armed with skis and professional-caliber mountain skills, the Shifting Ice and Changing Tides is setting off today on a human and wind-powered, female-led, ski and sail expedition to the west coast of Greenland. The team, made up of professional skiers, scientists and National Geographic Young Explorer Nat Segal, will be exploring Greenland and skiing first descents while limiting our environmental footprint by sailing and climbing. The expedition serves as a platform for raising awareness about climate change and environmental issues as well as for inspiring and promoting female participation in snow sport adventures. During the expedition the team members will be collecting samples for both our microplastics
and snow & ice
Most of the Shifting Ice + Changing Tides Team.
ASC recently caught up with the women of Shifting Ice on the eve of their departure.
ASC: What makes you most excited about the Shifting Ice expedition?
Pip: I am most excited about the unknown! There are so many aspects of this trip that my imagination can’t do justice to, the ice sheet, polar bears, sailing in the Arctic – I can’t wait to set off on this crazy adventure!
Meghan: For me, it is seeing over 1 year of hard work come together into one cohesive journey. Our teamwork has fired on all cylinders during the planning process and now we get to put it to the test in a harsher and more physically taxing environment.
McKenna: The adventure! Definitely the adventure. Like Pip said, there are a lot of unknowns going into this, it will be really exiting to see what we find and how our story develops. I am also excited to see what we bring home; how our data impacts the research we are helping with and how our story reaches the public.
Nat: I’m most excited about leaving the internet behind, packing up a bag of gear and signing out of reality! We are going to be immersed in adventure for three straight weeks and I just can’t wait to come at it head-on with no distractions.
Nat Segal sending it. Photo from Shifting Ice.
ASC: What about what makes you nervous about the expedition? What is keeping you up at night?
I think I speak for all of us when I say I am most nervous about the same thing I am most excited about, the adventure and the unknown. But the excitement definitely outweighs the nerves.
Meghan: Like McKenna, the same things that make this trip exciting make me nervous and all of it can be grouped into “the unknowns.” Will we have good weather? Will we be able to access terrain we want to ski? Will I be sea sick the whole time?
Pip: I’m probably most nervous about staying on the boat for three weeks, I think the biggest challenge will not be getting on each other’s nerves in such a small environment! Thank god for Apples to Apples, Kindles and Cards Against Humanity!
Nat: I have honestly had several nightmares about polar bears so for me it is a battle between worrying about meeting a giant polar bear face-to-face and dreading the four day open water sail — I tend to get sea sick…
Photographer KT Miller will be documenting the expedition. Photo from Shifting Ice.
ASC: What’s the one essential non-gear item you’re packing to keep yourself sane?
Nat: I packed two books, a biography of Gertrude Bell (19th century explorer) and ‘Deep’ by Porter Fox. I have this awesome day dream of skiing all day, getting back on the boat and reading until dinner. It’s definitely a pipe dream but It’s a nice one!
Pip: I think I just listed three in the last answer, although I think those are pretty essential to keep cabin fever at bay. The one “luxury” item I am bringing is my kindle. I love to read and one of my favorite parts about traveling is reading a book that is set wherever I’m going.
Meghan: Sriracha! To spice up the northern fare!
McKenna: Goal Zero portable speakers and an ipod. Dance parties! Everyone will benefit from that.
Meet the Team:
the quintessential “ski bum” is a former Freeskiing World Tour competitor. McKenna winters in the mountains chasing snow and summers on a fishing boat in Alaska. More about McKenna at Shifting Ice
, herself a former Freeskiing World Tour competitor (with many top 5 finishes), has over eight years of backcountry skiing experience in the Chugach, Chamonix, and Patagonia. Pip also works on the other side of the screen as a freelance writer, contributing to publications such as ESPN and Powder Magazine. More about Pip at Shifting Ice
and at adventuresofpip.com
is an engineer and scientist working to protect Lake Tahoe. She loves to work hard and play hard – competing in big mountain skiing competitions, skiing many of the highest peaks in California, filming an all-women’s ski movie in Alaska and heading up the California chapter of SheJumps. More about Meghan at Shifting Ice
and on meghankellyteles.com
, English by birth, has been skiing her whole life and carries 25 years of backcountry skiing experience. She is a qualified ski instructor, master yachtsman, a lead guide at Great Northern Powdercats in Montana, and a Cordon Bleu chef. The most experienced member at sea, she will provide mentorship throughout the trip. More about Martha at Shifting Ice
is a passionate photographer, cinematographer, and conservationist who loves
to spend time in the mountains. Working as a photographer she recently skied Denali and laid down first descents in the Transylvanian Alps. Her work has been featured in publications such as Red Bull, ESPN, and Freeskier. Kt spends multiple months each year in the Arctic working in climate change education and media with Polar Bears International and is thrilled to be documenting this expedition in order to communicate solutions to the climate crisis for future generations of snow enthusiasts. More about KT at Shifting Ice