For this Basking Ridge resident, a 342-mile trek on skis across Greenland's enormous ice cap is just a walk in the park.
Do you like this story?
Folks in Basking Ridge might find it a little odd to see a young man walking around town harnessed to a stack of tires. But really, what better way is there to train for a 342-mile trek on skis across Greenland’s ice cap?
And if you’re Akshay Nanavati, it’s all just a walk in the park.
Nanavati, 27, has already scaled almost 30 mountains in five countries, explored five glacier caves in Nepal and completed a five-day safari in Africa. His adventures are not all fun and games. He has also served in the U.S. Marines during Operation Iraqi Freedom and completed certification courses for firefighting and wilderness first response. “I want to experience a bit of everything because each experience presents its own challenges and forces you to face different fears,” says Nanavati, a native of India who moved to Basking Ridge with his wife, Shruthi, just over a year ago to be near her family. “I might not be the best at any one thing, but I’ll experience it all.”
During the Greenland adventure, which he will undertake in April as part of a guided team, Nanavati will have to drag a sled carrying all his supplies for just shy of a month on the ice—the second largest ice cap in the world. “It’s my biggest expedition yet, longest out there,” he says. “It’s a physical challenge for sure, and it’s a mental challenge.”
To prepare, Nanavati enrolled in a polar training course in Minnesota where one of the exercises required him to chainsaw a hole in the ice and jump in. In January, he traveled to Norway to meet his team and learn the technical aspects of the expedition. At home, he runs and bikes as much as possible—and drags those tires.
“A lot of people stop me and ask what I’m doing, and when I tell them I’m training for this expedition across Greenland, they’re like, ‘Why?,’” he says. “But most of it boils down to it being a very spiritual experience. You feel more connected to the world, to yourself. It builds that character in yourself that you feel you can handle anything.” (Nanavati arrived for this interview on his mountain bike in umbrella-inverting wind and heavy, cold rain.)
Nanavati, who has a day job as a salesman, forked over about $10,000 for the Greenland trip. To make it more meaningful, he is raising money for Doctors Without Borders. “I like the idea of serving something,” he says. He’s hoping to raise $10 for every mile he’ll be skiing, a total of $3,420; so far, he’s raised about $600. You can donate to Nanavati’s cause and follow his journey at existing2living.com.
Dream On: Exotic Cars, Pedestrian Speeds
The Top Golf Holes In New Jersey
Galloping Hill's New Giddyap
Value Golf: Good Deals on Great Rounds
Top Golf: Category Leaders
Great Golf: NJ's 10 Best Public Courses
The Top 40 Public Golf Courses
Thank you for signing up!
Rosie has the latest news on NJ restaurant openings and closings.
A family of nine from North Jersey is one of three finalists in a Today Show poll seeking a modern-day version of the von Trapp family from “The Sound of Music.”
In this final installment, Lewis talks about falling asleep to a favorite Dylan album and his breakdown last January and the ensuing five-month layoff.
Love or hate Whole Foods, you can't dismiss it from the top of the supermarket food chain, where it vies with or edges out (depending on your point of view) Kings and Wegman's. Then there's the bargain phantasmagoria of Corrado's and upscale outposts like Fairway and Eden Gourmet. In the latter category, there's Fresh Market. Taking aim at Whole Foods, it opens its second NJ store this week.
If you're looking for some fun, chic, affordable gift ideas fast, check out C. Wonder. Whether you visit the Garden State Plaza store in Paramus or shop cwonder.com, you'll like their holiday goodies...
Learn about CLEAR Internet in New Jersey