No one would have expected Kasper Jæger to end up as a guide for adventurers and scientists on both poles of the globe. But spending one summer in Greenland changed his plans forever. Today, the 30-year-old Dane lives amongst icebergs and penguins - always dressed in LOOWs merino wool, the only thing that works in that type of harsh climate.
Originally Kasper Jæger trained as a plumber. He had just settled down in Aarhus, bought a house and a contract for a job was already waiting for him. But a random meeting with an old friend changed the course in just one instant, when she told him that she was working as a guide in Greenland. And it sparked something in Kasper.
"I grew up with pictures of icebergs around me, because my grandfather was working with radio communication at the time, in Greenland among other places. He died when I was very young, so those pictures became my strongest connection to him. They were all what was left of him, "says Kasper Jæger, who quickly decided to try two months as a summer guide in Greenland, before settling in the everyday life that was waiting for him.
But during the Greenlandic summer, he fell in love. In the wild nature and a Norwegian girl. That summer changed everything and has meant that he works, among other things as an Assisting Expedition Leader at National Geographic.
"Greenland was just something completely different from Copenhagen, where I come from. It's so vast – everything is huge - whether you're out in a boat or wandering in the mountains. It really attracted me, that there were so few people, and a half hours walk from my front door, I could be on top of a mountain and look out over everything - all alone."
Over time Kasper became a manager and with the new responsibilities, the urge to learn more grew – the knowledge about the animals, the nature, and about the culture of Greenland.
"You need to understand the nature and the culture up here, in order to give a holistic experience. That's why I take courses all the time to learn as much as I can, so I'll be able to teach my guests something they did not know before. About everything from culture and history to geology, glaciology and much more."
Kasper is wearing a Forest T-OLS 220, size Large (178cm/90kg)
Ambassadors for the planet
After four years in Greenland, Kasper and his girlfriend moved to her homeland, all the way up in the north of Norway. Here he trained as an arctic nature guide and moved to another league of the guide industry.
With the town of Longyearbyen as a base, he came into his own as a guide and by chance he began to travel with the Norwegian Polar Institute on research expeditions. And this was how he was introduced to National Geographic, which he currently works for - in both the High Arctic and Antarctica, where he is responsible for a wide range of tasks from security to cultural and historical presentations.
And if you thought Kasper Jæger's work is about looking for the extreme, then you can think again. On the question of what a job in the farthest corner in the world is all about, he answers:
"I feel I can change people's lives. When I bring people to see Antarctica, and teach them about the lifecycle of penguins and have fantastic interactions with seals, whales and albatrosses…It sounds like a bad cliché, but I believe we can create ambassadors for our planet and for the climate. That I can open their eyes to the fact that if you throw a plastic bag in the water in North America, it will end up in Antarctica. If only a few of my guests go home and change a little about how they live their lives, it may spread like rings in the water. "
When you hear, Kasper speak with such dedication about the future of the globe, it really makes sense that he has fallen for LOOW's conscious approach to production and quality.
"I'm wearing wool 300 days a year so I had to test LOOW. And I really like Anders attention to details and his focus on performance. It has resulted in clothing that you can keep on using, without it falling apart - and it’s manufactured according to a high environmental standard. Not many manufacturers can do that”, Kasper explains and sends a request home to LOOW for pants that, like the T-shirts, will work both in the wildest of outdoors - and at the next cocktail party in Copenhagen.
Portraits by Henning Hjorth
Other photo by Kasper Jæger, Turgleder
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