The Arctic adventure of Fjällräven Polar 2018, is a coveted and dangerous adventure trip to regions where the temperature falls in the minus 30-degree range. 300 km of Arctic wilderness, and more than 200 highly-skilled sledge dogs, and just a group of ordinary people embarking on a journey they’ll never forget. One of those people will be Kerala’s Niyog, the first Indian to take part in this expedition.
According to the Deccan Chronicle, Niyog was aware of the Fjällräven Polar, and that the application process had begun on November 2016. He applied in December 2017 and found his name was not among the first thousand participants. However, his followers and friends on social media started campaigning on his behalf through WhatsApp groups, etc. and in 4 days, he ended up topping the list.
Incidentally, the voting turned into an Indo-Pak contest, as a Pakistani national too, was on the charts. It turned out into an all-out war, with celebrities and politicians of both nations seeking votes for their nation’s representative. Niyog’s tweets seeking votes for India’s selection were retweeted by Malayali superstars like Dulquer Salmaan and Prithviraj Sukumaran, among others, giving him 10,000 votes and securing India’s entry into the competition.
Niyog finally undertook a Polar expedition, from Norway to Sweden, travelling in a sledge pulled by ten highly-trained Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies.
The 27-year-old made it to Arlanda, a place near Sweden’s capital of Stockholm, and began one of the most incredible journeys in the world.
Covering Norway, and its icy confines, the group carried on the journey, using the sledge across the entire expedition, to end up at Väkkäräjärvi in Sweden on their last day.
Niyog was not worried about the sub-zero temperatures, or even the necessary fitness criteria. Having completed a few Himalayan expeditions and extreme treks in his resume, he felt that was fit enough for this expedition.
For the Kerala youth, the entire adventure was about experiencing nature in its most pure and raw form, a back-to-basics journey with lessons on how humans may have lived and travelled during the beginning of civilisation.
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Niyog’s dream destination is the Himalayas, and he wants to experience the mountain range in its entirety.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)