Hypothermia & Frostbite

Hypothermia and frostbite are a real, ever present and serious risk in Greenland during the winter season, which lasts well in to late May. Race participants should ensure that they are suitably equipped, clothed and experienced to avoid such conditions. This should include a good working knowledge of how to avoid and reduce the affects of cold injury on the body, as well as how to treat a casualty suffering from these conditions, in addition to the less serious condition of frostnip.

The race information Preparation notes include a detailed list of personal and group equipment and clothing that must to be carried by all competitors to give maximum protection against the affects of hypothermia and frostbite. These items will be checked pre race by the organisers and no participant will be allowed to start the race if any significant items are missing.

During periods when extreme weather and storms are forecast, the team leader should be competent and experienced in building a variety of snow shelters that could be used if tents were in danger of severe damage. These skills should extend to building walls around camp and best techniques for erecting and striking tents during high winds. Such techniques will significantly reduce the chances of suffering from hypothermia and frostbite. Individuals who are exposed to strong winds and/or cold temperatures without shelter can succumb quickly to frostbite and hypothermia. Hypothermia can kill quickly in extreme conditions.