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Welcome to BrashTalk #17, the Newsletter of the Polar Tourism Guides Association.

In This Issue:

  • President’s Pontifications: Lessons from the Boss
  • Guides Inside: Speaker Series Reboot (Input required)
  • Scuttlebutt
    • New Pro Deals
    • RCC Report
    • Guide Status Revalidation
    • Social Media
  • Training and Development
    • Presentation Skills
    • Situational Management
    • PTGA Online Library
    • Incident and Near-Miss Archive
  • Guano Happens: Site Management
  • Zodiac Driving Qualifications: PTGA and RYA Explained
  • Member Interview: Ted Cheeseman (Happywhale)

President’s Pontifications

Dear Guides & Members,

I would like to base these pontifications around one of our heroes – none other than Earnest Shackleton. I can’t think of a better role model for polar guides in terms of managing ourselves in turbulent times.

There are definitely conceptual similarities with Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic “Endurance” Expedition situation and the pandemic-fuelled condition we currently find ourselves in; life has changed, the environment has set a new normal that we have little control over, and there is need for cohesion and cooperation, to name a few.

In a fun, short presentation by Harvard University’s Nancy Koehn, Shackleton’s leadership skills are interpreted, revealing heartening lessons of how to manage ourselves in tempestuous times. It is worth taking a few minutes to hear what she has to say. You can find Nancy Koenh’s Presentation on Shackleton Here.

Some key takeaways for now: new norms must be accepted, we must embrace the unexpected and face forward, and have vision clarity about how to achieve the goal of returning to polar travel. Moreover, we must continually work to improve our personal situations through day-to-day management, with an eye toward long-term goals. All that demands constant adaptation, suppleness, and improvisation.

Importantly, Koehn highlights the need to pointedly care for each other – to be kind and supportive.

In the spirit of these concepts, it has been wonderful to see so much support for one another on social media as people share articles, personal stories, and engage in robust but healthy debate in areas of interest. I believe that one of the hallmarks of the polar industry is that we are from a very diverse array of countries and cultures yet we bond over a love of the polar regions and calling them a place of work(ship).

I for one am certainly missing the polar regions and even the excitement and anticipation of packing and heading off to a contract. When a return to the poles will occur remains nebulous for now, though. The good news is that our friends at IAATO and AECO (and their various committees) have been working hard behind the scenes to create safe possibilities for polar travel with their members. We applaud the work going in, despite the challenging circumstances. Fingers crossed.

On PTGA’s end, the Board is adhering to Shackleton’s methodologies; we remain focused on our long-term mission, while seeking ways to support each other and improve the current situation. In the short term we are filling in the next few months with another Guides Inside Speaker Series in response to the overwhelming demand we’re had from our membership. I can’t think of a better way to strengthen our connections with each other than to share. This time around, we’re seeking your guidance and contributions – see the article below for more details.

I hope you’ll appreciate this issue of Brash Talk. Take some time, sip a coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy. As always, there is a lot to cover. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to be in touch. Be kind to folk during these turbulent times and take some direction from ‘the Boss’.

Graham Charles
PTGA President

The Guides Inside Speaker Series Returns!

Back by popular demand, the Guides Inside Speaker Series will return to the Polar Guides Facebook Group in the coming weeks. Twelve short 30-40 minutes sessions covering a range of topics will be delivered as either a solo presentation or in a 1:1 interview.

To make this series the best it can be, we want to hear from you!

Want to present? We’re looking for guides who are eager to share their area of expertise, knowledge or skill as it relates to the world of polar guiding and the expedition cruise industry.

Suggest a topic. If you have an idea for a topic or discussion which would benefit the guiding community, drop us a line and we will see if we can find a relevant expert.

Be an interviewer. If you have an interest in helping us with this series and volunteering your time to guide a conversation (or several), we’d be very happy to hear from you.

Contact us at info@polartourismguides.com

Stay tuned for a start date in the coming weeks. All announcements will be made through PTGA emails and the Polar Guides Facebook Group.

Archives: Guide’s Inside and Polar Panels


New Pro Deals

We are continuing our work to build value for our members on the Pro Deal front. We are excited to announce the addition of Macpac clothing and equipment for our New Zealand and Australia members, and Outdoorly as a clearing house in the US. Click Here for a Full List of PTGA Prodeals

Macpac is a southern hemisphere brand that has been around for many years. If you are older than 35 you would likely have outfitted your tramping or climbing career with a Macpac pack at some stage. They make a wide range of equipment and clothing that is perfect for polar guiding work.

Outdoorly is a new clearing house for 80+ Outdoor Brands who approached PTGA specifically to be part of its initial offering. Outdoorly connects you to a wide selection of gear, apparel, and food – from larger brands like Mammut and Liberty Skis, to more niche brands like Jonesbar, Klean Kanteen, and So Ill. Currently they only ship to the US, but plan to add Canada later this year and are working towards Europe in 2021.

Patagonia are currently re-strategizing how they do Pro Deals, and for whom. Currently, they are not accepting any new applications for Pro Deals. We will keep you appraised as things change and we get clarity on the new scheme.

2020 Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) Report

We only have a few outstanding Recognition of Current Competency applications to complete. We received some outstanding portfolios which showed incredible professionalism and pride in the career role of polar guiding. We received over 120 applications received in this round. The review team has done excellent work, with a lot of great feedback from many of you. Congratulations to everybody who submitted.

Guide Status Revalidation

As an integral and mandatory part of PTGA’s ISO Accreditation, anyone with Polar Guide or Senior Polar Guide status must Revalidate every three years.
Revalidation consists of providing documentation of four components that together demonstrate that you are currently working at the level consistent with your PTGA status and awards.
If you gained status in 2017 you will soon receive a note asking for:

  • A Portfolio of Evidence showing logged time in relevant areas, not less than 60 days active work in the Polar Tourism Industry (utilising the Log Template will make the logged time part of revalidation quick and easy).
  • Proof of commitment to Continual Professional Development (CPD)*.
  • Attestation and/or peer review of performance from a Senior Polar Guide or Assessor.
  • Proof of current 1st Aid qualifications (or having a plan to complete currency in place once courses are allowed to resume.)

*CPD may include additional professional experience, private study, specific training, participation in lectures, seminars, online tests or development programs, refresher courses, conferences or internal company training (courses or training must include evidence of content such as agenda, learning plan or confirmation from facilitator). The onus is on the Guide to outline the relevance of the CPD and should take into account changes in: needs of individuals; needs of organizations; polar tourism activities techniques, technologies, equipment and practices; rules and legislation.

Social Media

We hope you have been enjoying PTGA’s social media feeds lately. We have taken your feedback and have adapted the style and narrative to create more engaging posts which better reflect what polar guiding encompasses. If you are not already following PTGA, Join our Instagram and Facebook Group now.

Experience Log

Don’t forget to take a few minutes in your free time to grab a coffee or glass of wine and update your Experience Log. Download Your Log Here

Training and Development

Presentation Skills

For those of you looking for a resource with some really interesting ways you can improve your presentation delivery, this Ted Talk Video Tutorial from David J Phillips is worthwhile. If you don’t come out of it with at least a few things to take away immediately we will be surprised.

Situational Management

Our Virtual Learning Environment courses have been getting a lot of visits and we encourage any members who are looking to strengthen their knowledge to take some time to check these out. Of note is the new Situational Management short course designed to expand your horizons in this very important meta skill. Members can access the VLE using the ‘Resources’ tab on the PTGA Webpage.

PTGA Online Library

We have added a PDF Library to the PTGA website, which is currently populated with various materials related to Risk Management and Decision-making, Working in Polar Bear Environments, and Avalanche Awareness, to name a few. These materials are the first round to be added to the new library and we will continue to add documents and expand upon the various topical sections of the library over time.

PTGA Members can access the PDF Library using the ‘Resources tab’ on the PTGA Webpage.

If you would like to contribute skills development material to the library – and receive credit among your peers – we are able to provide a forum to share. Please drop a line to Pascale at admin@polartourismguides.com. Note that we will not accept proprietary company documents or materials.

Incident and Near-miss Archive

Due to the popularity of the Guano Happens column (and the value of sharing narratives, decisions and causal sequences around incidents and near-misses), we have collated all the Guano Happens reviews into one pdf document. You can find it in the new PDF Library for PTGA Members.

We want you to learn from the experience of others. PTGA knows there is incontrovertible value in learning about and discussing events related to risk-management in a no-blame environment, with the explicit goal of preventing future mishaps industry-wide. Reading through our collection, understanding the language of review, and the sequence of decisions and actions that occurred (or didn’t occur) is time well spent.

PTGA believes incident and near-miss reporting is a very important area of development in the industry. We invite you to contribute to the Guano Happens forum. Use our Anonymous Incident and Near-Miss Report Form to share your story or just drop us a line. No matter how old or new your story is, we would love to hear from you.

Guano Happens

Safety & Risk Management Review

This issue of Guano is a story that might be more common than we realize.

I was with a large group on a walk to the top of Danco Island (editors note – this guide had a formal qualification as a mountain leader and had been in charge of this hike multiple times before). Conditions were fine and clear and quite warm. There were other staff on the hike but they were spread out on the ascent. Some of the guests had seen bum-slide trails on the lower slopes and were asking about sliding down the slope. I said we would get to the top first and see how conditions were when we got back down.

Guests had been coming and going from the summit with other staff stationed at various positions and some descending helping those less able. All people had received a warning about staying in the summit area when they first arrived. A number of guests were still sitting around on the summit and taking pictures etc and had been there for some time. I wandered a short distance to look down the descent to see how things were going.

There was shouting from the summit and I rushed back and people were yelling that someone had fallen in a crevasse. It turns out while I was away and facing away, a gentleman had seen the sliding trails far below and thought the slope looked good from the summit down to them so started off down. The man bum-slid about 60metres from the summit (never fast or out of control people confirmed) and fell into a crevasse. The person was unhurt and standing on a soft snow ledge with their head sticking out of the crevasse. They couldn’t get enough purchase on the uphill side wall to get out themselves (the downhill side would have been easier but I would have to have left the group on the summit to find a route to safety. I couldn’t tell if this was a snow bridge or the base but decided it was safe for me to help. I kicked out a solid foot placement and used a sling I was carrying as a hand line (I had a throw-bag as well.) I helped the guest out and onto the slope. I did a quick informal survey and found they had a sore bum from hitting a harder block of snow and that was all. We walked back to the summit.

I gathered the people remaining and talked through what had happened and warned them again about only going where allowed and that any small incident could impact the trip for the whole vessel. Some people thought the whole thing was hilarious, some were freaked out. Word got around the ship but the EL managed it by revisiting the incident and providing information about what happened and how it related to everyone on board – this was really positive and gave people a lot to think about.

We reviewed it as an expedition team and learnt what we could from it. I outlined what I thought had gone wrong and that was: I hadn’t done a specific ‘do-not-move’ disclosure to the remaining people on the summit before leaving them alone, I could have used my throw bag (as I have done before) to mark a limit of movement allowed in the area and I thought if I had kept another staff member on top I would have had more freedom to move around and see how others were doing. On top of this I just didn’t think it would ever happen! Lesson learned – never assume!

Incident Review

PTGA note: there is a bergschrund type crevasse ringing the summit of Danco Island on all aspects except the northern hike approach. We don’t have clear, useable data on its depth apart from the fact that the Danco summit snow dome is not particularly thick. Any planned excursions into this terrain need a suitably qualified guide (and equipment) capable of judging crevasse hazard and performing an extraction if required.

Without much more detail it seems the guide had a good summation of the causal factors that led to the incident. It’s worth mentioning that the guide’s preparedness in terms of possessing slings and a throw bag were key to a quick and uneventful solve for extracting the client.

The fact that the guide left the summit without very clearly and specifically instructing the clients regarding expectations (in this case, to NOT go somewhere) was one of the key contributing factors. Effective communication is probably more important than using markers to physically create a boundary, but the two together would have been considered sound practise.

It’s worth considering that the Familiarity trap was in play here as the guide had been here many times before and disclosed that they just never thought someone would take-off like that. It is worth stating time and time again – people can do the weirdest things and constant vigilance or mass control systems are critical skills in this kind of tourism. It’s possible the guide was overtasked and perhaps they didn’t have sufficient staff supporting their role, but I don’t feel we have enough information to make that judgment in full.
It is very positive that the EL got out in front of the issue and dealt with it before it became something it wasn’t, and the team discussion and accurate reflection is a very positive forum to deal with it and move on.

Zodiac Driving Qualifications: RYA and PTGA Explained

PTGA’s Qualification framework and individual awards are specifically designed for expedition professionals. There are other qualifications out there, which sometimes suffice depending on which company you work for. One award that is quite different from its more general counterparts, however, is PTGA’s Driving Small Boats/ Zodiacs. We’ve asked Ben Jackson – PTGA Senior Assessor and an independent trainer at the Expedition Guide Academy – to add context to PTGA’s award as it relates to its commonly encountered maritime cousin, the RYA1 and RYA2 awards.

As a PTGA Senior Assessor, one area of misunderstanding that I have to explain regularly is the differences between PTGA’s Drive a Zodiac (DAZ) award and the RYA I and II qualifications.

I’ve chosen to review the awards from a purely operational perspective as an EL in order to show what I might expect if a new staff member comes on board with either qualification. I will acknowledge at the outset that there is value in any awards. But comparing PTGA to RYA is largely not comparing apples with apples.

Let’s take a look at the fruity differences:

RYA qualifications are geared to maritime amateurs, independent of the polar environment. If someone has RYA I or II then I would expect them to have the basic skills for operating a boat. They have most likely been trained in a centre console RIB, they’ll know the rules of the road (COLREGS), cardinal markers and are likely proficient operating in and around harbours or marinas. They will have done some high speed and low-speed manoeuvring and have performed a MOB. If they’ve have RYA II then they will have everything mentioned plus theoretical knowledge on anchoring and towing. They may have covered more in the course but these are my base expectations.

Possessing PTGA’s award with a Polar Endorsement tells me that a staff member is not only competent driving a boat, but specifically, they are experienced with zodiac driving in polar environments and as part of an expedition operation. Let’s dissect those components to reveal more distinct differences.

If this new person joins with a current PTGA Driving Small Boats/Zodiacs award straight away I know they have other important competencies, pre-requisites for earning the award in the first place. Notably, those pre-req’s are a current first-aid certificate, and the PTGA awards for Working with Small Boats/ Zodiacs (shore party essential skills), and Navigation Skills and Communications for Polar Operations (ability to use a VHF radio and satellite phone and to navigate safely using a compass/ GPS, with a working knowledge of charts.)

From a driving performance perspective, I also know this staff member will know how to dress for polar driving and prepare a zodiac for polar operations. They’ll be able to load and unload guests safely in variable sea-states, and get them to the beach or take them on a cruise while being self-sufficient during beach embarkation and disembarkation and anchoring. If things don’t go to plan then they will have covered towing and basic engine troubleshooting. They will also have a working knowledge of COLREGS.

Overall, the training and assessment for PTGA’s award will have a far more rounded and expedition-specific approach because PTGA awards have been designed specifically for the expedition cruise and polar industry. Also, because of the feedback focus and assessment methodology native to PTGA assessments, I expect the staff member will likely be sufficiently self-aware with regards to their level of skill and knowledge.

That covers the basics of the award. PTGA then goes further in offering seven Advanced Driving Endorsements that can be earned, such as landing on ice floes, and surf landings. If a guide possesses the full-range of PTGA’s DAZ award it offers the company employing them very solid protection via an ISO accredited assessment scheme that no one else (including RYA) offers.

As mentioned at the start there is certainly value in holding the RYA I or II awards. Anything is better than nothing! With regards to their designed purpose of getting people started with marina and inner harbour driving, the awards still serve well.

I hope this explains the critical differences between the schemes and why comparing them is not comparing apples with apples – they are inherently different. It would be great to see the specifically designed PTGA awards treated as the default award in an industry that really should have a built-for-purpose minimum competency level that people understand more fully. I hope this has helped.

Ben Jackson, PTGA Senior Assessor, Expedition Guide Academy Co-founder.


Ted Cheeseman

PTGA: You are the founder of the successful citizen science project and website Happy Whale. How did this come about and how is it going?
TC: Yay science! Happy Whale has been massively re-invigorating; getting involved in something deeply meaningful and contributing to learning about and protecting this place that I’ve loved from first sight. Nothing could be better.

I was getting pretty burnt out on owning an expedition company. So that’s pretty much how it happened, I was hating what I was doing, looking for something different, and happened to be rooming with whale biologist Michael Moore in January 2013 aboard Ioffe in South Georgia and Antarctica. He could see my frustrations and told me to quit whining and go back to the science that I talked about loving so much.

Back in the 90’s and 2000’s we hardly saw any whales in Antarctica. Now of course it is soooo different, they’re absolutely everywhere. But nobody seemed to know details of the story of their recovery. Science needed the data; we wanted the stories to tell. We now know maybe 1/3 of individual humpbacks seen on the Antarctic Peninsula, and along the North American west coast, probably 80% of individuals. It’s so fun to be able to quickly share with people the story of an individual whale, and clearly it adds a lot of value to engaging guests. The whole endeavour was an experiment, and since it has worked it and has become my PhD. But Happywhale goes well beyond that.

PTGA: You are in the middle of your PhD. What are you researching for this?
TC: Happywhale started generating volumes of high-quality data but there I was literally handing archives of sighting info to researchers and seeing it sit there with limited engagement. Many appreciated what was going on but it wasn’t their thing. I was sort of whining about this to the legendary whale biologist Phil Clapham, and said in passing, “well, maybe I should do a PhD with this”. He gave me a swift kick in the backside and 48 hours later had me accepted into a doctoral program at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia. I guess I was committed before I came to my senses.

There’s a component focused on South Pacific humpbacks, including Antarctic Peninsula whales, but primarily my thesis is three nested studies: building automated image recognition for humpback flukes (done!), building a global dataset of individuals based on research collaboration and citizen science – we’ve documented 40,000 individuals by now and I suspect by the time this thesis chapter is complete it’ll have grown to 50 or 60,000, and finally a population assessment of North Pacific humpbacks, a collaborative study involving about 40 research groups from every nation in the North Pacific with humpbacks.

PTGA: Tell us about the push for vessel speed limits in the Gerlache Strait region of the Antarctic Peninsula. What prompted this? How did it turn into action? Do you think it is being effective?
TC: Well I like the story. I am super impatient sometimes. Sitting on the bridge in the Gerlache going to the next landing… I’m always there cursing why we’re always going so slow. March 2018 I was out on the starboard wing of Vavilov with whales visible here there and more or less everywhere. I was working out our likely eta to wherever was next mid-Gerlache and I realized that even though our landing would be delayed, we were going too damn fast to be safe in that wildlife-rich environment. Only a**holes don’t slow down in school zones… why would it be any different driving a 5000 or 20000 tonne ship through the dining room of thousands of whales? As soon as we actually look at it, it couldn’t be more obvious – and especially as I’d spent the last three years looking at an endless stream of photos of whales mangled by ship strikes.

So, I used the next hour of our transit to scratch up a few emails to Amanda Lynnes and Lisa Kelley at IAATO as well as a few biologists I know who have worked on ship strike issues in the Gulf of Maine and California coast. Honestly, the fact that in 2019 IAATO adopted this unanimously, 100% of ship operators joining together to support self-regulation, it’s a huge testament to the power of building a strong community around responsible tourism. It took a bunch of work between that idea and adoption a year and half later, but it would be hard to find another governance system in all the world’s oceans that could act that swiftly, decisively and clearly for the sake of good stewardship.

Is it being effective? What will happen when a 10,000-tonne cruise ship hits a 30-tonne whale – especially if it happens in the middle of the night? Nobody but the whale will ever know. This is the definition of precautionary environmental management. But it’s a 2000 square kilometre box where we have to reduce speed to 10kn but can go whatever speed we want just outside – it’s a pretty blunt tool. We need better science and better information to make a more nuanced management plan that preserves our freedom as much as possible while really minimizing threats to whales.

We want to make it better and have a proposal to IAATO for some good research using data Ari Friedlaender has gathered on whale behaviour using tags on whales, to understand dive depth profiles through hours of the day, months of the year and areas on the Peninsula. COVID torpedoed funding for now, but hopefully next year we can get this done. In the long term, I think the best solution will be an infra-red automated whale blow spotting device that Daniel Zitterbart at Woods Hole has developed but they are prohibitively expensive currently but will get cheaper and – perhaps with IAATO member support – more robust so they can be on all ships providing a relatively simple algorithm to inform the captain and pilot of potential risk ahead. With that, we can operate with maximum freedom, yet be responsive and responsible.

PTGA: You recently joined the PTGA and applied for Recognition of Competency – why now after being at the Conference where the idea was first floated?
TC: Every effort has a threshold, a critical mass when it can no longer be ignored. Stoked to see the PGTA well and solidly past that inflection point – kudos to you all who’ve carried that torch. The certification doesn’t much matter to me professionally – usually I’m the one doing the hiring – but I can recognize quality and it means a lot to be lifting that quality bar. Gone are the days when we could learn to drive a zodiac in South Georgia waters with passengers aboard. If everyone did that, we might just end up dying at sea.

PTGA: What do you think about the growth of polar tourism? Is it sustainable?
TC: What does sustainable even mean? If the demand is there, the ships will be built, the tour companies will happily sell the berths, and everyone will keep talking about being environmentally sensitive. Pretty soon we could see scenic helicopter flights taking folks heli-hiking and looking down on people “exploring” and having an “authentic adventure” in a sub below the icebergs. Used to be that in a 26-day voyage we could avoid seeing even a single other ship.

Was that Wilderness Experience of literally being the only ship in South Georgia, or being one of two or three ships on the Peninsula sustainable? No. Today’s polar tourism has eliminated that. I really miss that, but do the feelings of last generation’s guides matter? I say this a bit tongue-in-cheek, but these are complex questions because we can’t judge sustainability unless we seriously define what we are actually trying to protect. Wilderness, with a capital W, is what we love about Antarctica. Let’s take the scenario of saying that anything that destroys Antarctic Wilderness is what we define as unsustainable. I’d define that Wilderness is a combination of physical elements (the actual pristine Antarctic environment) and immaterial, the experience of feeling like you are “alone in nature”. Personally, I think that the most heavily visited regions of the Arctic and Antarctic are unlikely to withstand the current growth trajectory without real stresses to the physical environment.

I really want to see us looking critically at what we are doing physically in these environments that we expect to keep serving up incredible wilderness and wildlife experiences in. Environmentally, in Antarctica and in the Arctic, we can answer a lot of questions site by site, region by region. Are we keeping disturbance to each bird colony at a level of ‘less than minor or transitory’? If Tom Hart says so, I’m confident in that. Are we causing noise pollution enough to change the marine environment for whales? These are questions we can answer. Fearnbach, Pitman and Durban, the killer whale biologists, are seeing some evidence that Peninsula killer whales might be stressed. We need to dive deep into these questions; perhaps we need different ways of acting around different species. That’s absolutely logical.

But then there’s the bigger question, is it sustainable for each of us to travel on ships burning seven or ten or twenty tonnes of fuel a day? Hell no. My yard is full of forest fire ash from the worst conflagration that California has ever faced. One piece of a vision of sustainable polar tourism has to be implementing a plan to become carbon neutral. We can do this. Easily? No. Bring on the critics; we’ll be on the right side of history with a positive vision like this.

PTGA: Is there anything guides could be doing more of to augment any key messages across the industry?
TC: In my humble opinion, guides are the heart of everything. I’ve been on all sides of the polar tourism world and nobody has the power or the vision like guides. There’s many kinds of tourism in the world but only a few sectors have the kind of overt conceptual goals of being environmentally responsible, of creating stewards and ambassadors, of showing people true wilderness without harming that wilderness. We can spend all day critiquing where the reality that vision may come up short, but in my opinion the best way to look responsible is to BE responsible. Among us is a subset of guides – PGTA members seem to be disproportionately among these – who carry the torch and burn it brightly. It takes engagement and effort but we really can have a huge impact. Every citizen science effort I know of has started from guides.

To every operator that now has a citizen science coordinator staff position aboard, my hat off to you. That’s just an example, obviously one close to my heart, but for any guide who is still reading, if you have a vision for making polar tourism a better force in this world, charge forward with it. It’s way too easy to let the good ideas die under the daily onslaught of shipboard emails and dog-and-pony-show evening briefings. Most every great thing we have comes from guides who have gotten together to put real thought and effort into making the industry better. There’s a lot more of that in the well.

Fab Feedback

“Thanks so much Sophie and Ewan, your comments in my RCC review was some of the most specific and helpful feedback I have ever received. Thanks PTGA for making this process available.”

Hi Pascale and the rest of the PTGA team, Thank you so much for this. Excellent! Really good to read through the reviewers comments too and plan some things I can improve on in this down time. Many thanks to Graham Charles and Liz Pope for all their work with my RCC assessment.”

“Hi Pascale,

Thanks so much for sending this through. Great to know it was all in order and thanks to everyone at PTGA for helping us gain qualifications and make our job more professional and recognized.”

PTGA Members – 411

Senior Polar Guides – 200

Polar Guides – 101

Congratulations To:

Congratulations to our new group of status guides. In particular, a big welcome to the large contingent of Quark Expeditions guides now holding PTGA status. It is also worth noting that 300 of our current 411 membership now hold PTGA status as certified guides!

Polar Guide

Ryan McDevitt, Scott Portelli, Lisa Barry, Ben Hutchinson, Simon Fortier, Erinn Drage, Mike Craven, Manda Lundstrom, Lisa Baldwin, Juan Cascallares, Karen Williams, Travis Keay, Genevieve Cote, Sarah Norbury, Neil Williams, Alexandra Hansen, Conny Bartl

Senior Polar Guide

Andrew Lock, Meghan Fisher, Tom Hart, Michael Davidson, Gus Anning, Wolfgang Wenzel, Rodrigo Moragaz, Marta Salamonsen, Amanda Dalsgaard, Jim Mayer, Lauritz Schonfeld, Franny Bergschneider, Danny Edmunds, Isabelle Howells, Vickie Rochon, Nick Engelmann, Justine Ryan, Kevin Morgan, John Wright, Mark Scriver, Suzanne Hanlen, Laura Williams, Sam Thalmann, Rebecca Dryland, Yukie Hayashi, Luke Kenny, Jake Morrison, Ida Olssen, Peter Clements, Miranda Unger, Jaap van Rijckevorsel, Karolina Karas, Jane Whitner, Merel Dalebout, Meghan Fisher, Andrew Lock, Sean Reilly.