Antarctic explorer from Dubuque shares adventure - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Antarctic explorer from Dubuque shares adventure

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by Jamie Grey

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- We're expecting subzero temperatures later this week, but for one Dubuque native, that doesn't seem too bad. As part of Dubuque's Ice Fest, polar explorer Troy Henkels gave a presentation on his most recent expedition to Antarctica.

Henkels left his corporate job years ago, moving to Alaska in search of adventure. Last year, he and six others went on a sailing expedition to Antarctica, where Henkels was videographer for a documentary.

"It's a really amazing place. It's vast, it's very stark, it can be very cold. The weather can be pretty intimidating, but when it's not all those bad things, it's very beautiful, very pristine, untouched by humans," Henkels said.

The group was on a quest to reenact a Belgian expedition done 110 years ago. The explorers were also looking for changes perhaps caused by global climate change.

"We were able to make no conclusions that there was any difference pointing in the direction of global warming at all. So, we were all pretty surprised because we thought there'd be huge differences in the ice pack and whatnot," Henkels said.

When he's not scaling mountains or swimming in frigid water, Henkels works for a telephone company in Alaska and is always looking for the next journey. He'll be working with the Discovery Channel shooting video in Alaska later this month.

As for flying south to come home during winter, Iowa's looking pretty good right about now.

"Eastern Iowa's pretty mild compared to most of the polar environments that I hang out in. Where I live, in Alaska, it's been 48 below zero, so when I come home, and they say it's going to get down to zero, I say, yeah, not so bad," Henkels said.

Ice Fest continues for the next two weekends at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey
Online Producer: Mike Verlo

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