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Fight for your dreams: Ingrid Ortlieb talks to Explorersweb/Pythom

Poles

Success in life is not always to win, but never to get discouraged. Age is just a number, you are never too old and that’s why nothing can stop my passion for the wonderful, white, wild and wide Arctic, Ingrid (61), Greenland Crossing

“Just keep moving.” Wise words coming from Ingrid Ortlieb, a fitness instructor, who’s dreams still come true, at 61, in the extreme conditions of the Arctic, her life’s passion.

She was born in Germany and is living in Spain, but her heart is with the beauty of the Arctic, the wonderful people the Inuit, the pure nature.

Explorersweb/Pythom caught up with Ingrid after a Greenland crossing on the Classic Horizontal Route (Piont 660 to Isortoq) this past season. We found out where her passion started and what motivates her. She talks about her guide, Bengt Rotmo, and the more-than-usual meltwater this season, how they had to walk for 3 days through the ice water.

Explorersweb/Pythom: You are 61 and still more active than many people on the street of your age group, in fact, you just crossed Greenland, pulling a sled for some 600km in extreme conditions. What motivated you to do that?

Ingrid: When I was a child I had a big dream, travelling to Canada. As a young girl, one day I decided to cross Canada just with a backpack for 1 year. This adventure changed my life.

After many years, my dream to go back and visit Baffin Island was day by day getting stronger. So one day I went to Baffin Island and from there on the magic of the high Arctic has drawn me into the spell, I feel like I’m at home!!!!

I did a few expeditions and traveled around the Baffin Island.

And this year a big dream came true: Back to Greenland to Cross the Greenland Ice Cap from the west to the east, 608km.

The beauty of the Arctic, the wonderful people the Inuit, the pure nature, my dreams and my own life are my big motivation!!!!

Explorersweb/Pythom: What have you learned about yourself on this expedition and what will you take with you as motivation in future?

Ingrid: There is just one thing which I learned in all my Expeditions:

fight for your dreams, it is not the most important thing in life, no, it is the only important thing in life.

And to cross Greenland has confirmed it to me again.

Explorersweb/Pythom: How did you training and preparation look like?

Ingrid: As I´m working as a fitness instructor, my main indoor training was Spinning, TRX and Kettlebell. The outdoor training was a good resistance/strength training, pulling two tires on the beach. It was absolutely a fantastic training (and also very funny!!!)

But the most important thing is to have a strong mind. If you really want to do it you never, ever give up.

Explorersweb/Pythom: You went with Bengt Rotmo, one of the most experienced polar guides at the moment. What have you learned from him?

Ingrid: First of all it was a pleasure to be with Bengt. I was lucky to share the tent with him and hear about his adventure. Amazing!!!!

More than learning from him, it was a confirmation of how important it is to follow your dreams. With Bengt, I also felt very safe. He has all the experience that you need in this sometimes dangerous terrain. He is not only a great explorer but also a great person, with empathy and patience. Nothing would bring him out of calm.

Explorersweb/Pythom: How was the weather and ice conditions?

Ingrid: The first 3 days we had a lot of water, open canals and sometimes we just went into the water to go ahead with our expedition. So it was 3 days walking with wet clothes and wet boots. Up on the Ice Cap we had a better terrain. At the beginning the weather was too warm. Later on we had a little bit of everything: Storm, lots of days with White-out, Blizzard and we also stayed one entirely day in the tent. The temperature was between 0º and -10ºC at the beginning, and -15º to- 30º later on.

Explorersweb/Pythom: What would you say to someone who tells you he/she is too old to follow their passion?

Ingrid: If somebody tells you, he/she is too old to do it, then he/she is maybe too old. If you can dream, you can do it. Everything depends only on you. Success in life is not always to win, but never to get discouraged. Age is just a number, you are never too old and that’s why nothing can stop my passion for the wonderful, white, wild and wide Arctic. I have been just a few days back and I’m already starting to dream again about my next expedition, no, it’s never too late, just keep moving!!

The Arctic is waiting for me 🙂

Previous/Related

Debrief: Ski crossing of the Barnes Icecap May 2012, José Naranjo and Ingrid Ortlieb completed a ski crossing of Baffin Island’s Barnes Icecap

Greenland Record: Effort and mental approach

Taking back their World Record: Interview with Greenland speed ski team

Explorersweb interview with Bengt Rotmo: Greenland Fall vs. Spring

Aging: In the Olympics and Wilderness

#polar #greenland #ingridortlieb

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