Dr Sean Hudson writes about recent Polar Medicine course in Norway

‘There’s no snow.’ This was the text I received the week before the course. Slightly concerning since we planning on skiing, snowmobiling and dogsledding. All of which can prove difficult without snow. Snowholing may also prove to be a challenge. As I flew over Oslo it looked as if there was plenty of snow, and as we descended into Alta over the snow clad mountains the pilot announced the temperatures outside were -25. There was no snow from a Norwegian perspective but there was still plenty for us from blighty. The group were exposed to every polar weather experience: -30 whilst dogsledding, snow and wind whilst snowholing and a fabulous slush covering the surface of the ice drill. The group rose to the challenge and threw themselves into each new skill.

There were some highlights for me: the largest snow hole ever created, greatest height achieved by two ladies on a snowmobile (I had never seen the bottom of a snowmobile in flight until last week), Martin manfully getting frostbite the week before the course so that everyone could see how to dress frostbite properly, everyone did the ice drill and thankfully again no injuries. Thank you to all of you who made the course a success, from the directing staff who worked tirelessly and managed to consume 24000 calories between 4 of them in 24 hours, to the participants who had a try at everything and continued to smile and to our host at Ongajok who yet again provided us with wonderful food and accommodation. Finally thank you to the northern lights for giving us another beautiful display