First Ever Scholarship Recipient Selected for Eric Larsen’s Polar Training Course

January 4, 2018

ALLIED Feather & Down and Helly Hansen are sending one deserving individual to Lake Winnipeg to learn winter expedition skills from world renowned polar explorer

Montebello, California — From an impressive roster of nearly 300 applicants from over 15 countries, 25-year old Rachael Sarette has been selected as the recipient for the ALLIED Feather & Down and Helly Hansen scholarship fund for Eric Larsen’s Level 1 Polar Training course, taking place in Winnipeg, Canada on January 12 – 21st, 2018.  All necessary gear, equipment, travel costs, and course fees will be provided to Rachael courtesy of ALLIED and Helly Hansen, both of which have been longtime supporters of Larsen and his expeditions.

Rachael’s commitment to environmental education and her desire to give back to others, as well as current financial barriers and a strong desire to gain more hands-on experience in a wilderness expedition setting, stood out among the impressive pool of 280 scholarship applicants. As a young naturalist and environmental educator currently residing and working as an intern at Wolf Ridge Environmental Center in Finland, Minnesota, Rachael has strong aspirations to one day lead expeditions and adventures for people with disabilities.

Rachael will join other participants for the comprehensive and hands-on course, which culminates in a 4-day winter mini expedition on Lake Winnipeg, providing a challenging, yet safe, opportunity to experience the many facets of expedition life. This immersive experience will allow Rachael to gain a variety of critical outdoor and cold-weather survival skills and systems – bringing her one step closer to achieving her personal and professional goals.

“I am beyond excited for this opportunity” says Rachael. “My goal is to one-day lead expeditions and adventure trips for people with either physical or cognitive disabilities, and the skills and experience gained on this trip will be invaluable. I currently work as an unpaid intern and don’t even own a sleeping bag, so taking a trip like this would otherwise be impossible. I’m so grateful to have been awarded this scholarship and can’t wait for the course.”

As a co-sponsor of the scholarship, ALLIED Feather & Down’s support of this initiative is part of the company’s growing commitment to philanthropic endeavors in the areas of environmental stewardship, conservation, and advocacy, including financial support to organizations such as Protect Our Winters, Medicine’s Global, and Range Of Motion Projects.

“We wholeheartedly admire Rachael’s passion for outdoor adventure, her desire to to give back to others and the environment. It’s truly an honor to support her in this way,” says Matthew Betcher, ALLIED’s Creative and Marketing Director. “While there was a substantial number of inspiring people to choose from, Rachael embodies what we at ALLIED try to do as a company and  is undoubtedly deserving of this life-changing experience.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this scholarship in collaboration with ALLIED,” says Brady Barry, Helly Hansen’s Marketing Manager for USA. “Rachael is an excellent candidate for this opportunity. We’re proud to provide her with the necessary gear to keep her safe and comfortable on Lake Winnipeg and in many more extreme environments to come.”

Eric Larsen, a polar adventurer, expedition guide, and educator, has spent the past 20 years traveling in some of the most remote and extreme environments on the planet. To date, Eric has completed more North and South Pole expeditions than any other American in history.  The Polar Training Scholarship fund, with an estimated $8,000 total value, was established to provide a unique opportunity for one deserving outdoor-minded individual to join his Level 1 Polar Training Course, free of charge.

Based on the strong response for the 2018 scholarship program, a yearly scholarship fund is being established for Larsen’s Polar Training course. People interested in applying for the 2019 scholarship can visit this scholarship page to learn more. The application period will begin in Spring 2018.


About ALLIED Feather & Down:

ALLIED Feather & Down is the world’s leader in the manufacture of the highest quality downs and their blends. Founded in Vernon, Calif. in 1987, ALLIED has been responsible sourcing and sustainably processing down while driving innovation within the market for 30 years. The family-run operation has earned the reputation as the largest, most reliable and most responsible supplier of raw material in the industry. ALLIED is committed to safeguarding the environment and transparency in ensuring the welfare of animals, which contributed, in part, to their prestigious bluesign® approval. ALLIED values longstanding relationships with the largest suppliers on the planet and is proud to produce the highest quality down technologies demanded by the most discerning brands in the outdoor, hospitality and fashion marketplaces.  To learn more about ALLIED, please visit http://www.alliedfeather.com/.

About Helly Hansen

Founded in Norway in 1877, Helly Hansen continues to develop professional-grade apparel that helps people stay and feel alive. Through insights drawn from living and working in the world’s harshest environments, the company has developed a long list of first-to-market innovations, including the first supple waterproof fabrics almost 140 years ago. Other breakthroughs include the first fleece fabrics in the 1960s, the first technical base layers in the 1970s, made with Lifa® Stay Dry Technology, and today’s award winning and patented H2Flow® temperature regulating system. Helly Hansen is a leader in technical sailing and performance ski apparel, as well as premium workwear. Its ski uniforms are worn and trusted by more than 50,000 professionals and can be found on Olympians, National Teams, and at more than 200 ski resorts and mountain guiding operations around the world. Helly Hansen’s outerwear, base layers, sportswear and footwear are sold in more than 40 countries and trusted by outdoor professionals and enthusiasts around the world. To learn more about Helly Hansen’s latest collections, visit www.hellyhansen.com

About Eric Larsen

Polar adventurer, expedition guide, and educator, Eric Larsen has spent the past 20 years traveling in some of the most remote and extreme environments on the planet. To date, Eric has completed more North and South Pole expeditions than any other American in history. Included in that list are the first ever summer expedition to the North Pole as well as a world record expedition to the South Pole, North Pole and top of Mt. Everest all within a 365-day period. In May of 2014, Eric and teammate Ryan Waters traveled unsupported from northern Ellesmere Island to the Geographic North Pole in 53 days in what realistically will be the last North Pole expedition in history. The journey was featured on Animal Planet in the the US and Discovery Channel globally and in his book On Thin Ice: An Epic Final Quest into the Melting Arctic. Eric has dedicated his adult life to sharing his love for the outdoor world with others. For more information, visit http://ericlarsenexplore.com/