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Tuesday 30 September  
Skater in the Eleven Cities Tour, 1997

Earth Beat - Winter

On air: 13 January 2012 3:00 (ANP/Kippa)

More about:

Earth Beat, 13 January 2012. It may be cold outside, but we’re warming to winter, meeting people who like to feel the chill. From a husky dog breeder to a long-distance skater, and the man who helps improve the lives of people who live in winter cities. Comment on the show.

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Brian Ladoon (left) and Caleb Ross
Brian Ladoon (left) and Caleb Ross
One man and his dogs

Caleb Ross, a New Zealander, moved to Canada for love. It wasn't to be, but the plight of a rare breed of dog led to the small settlement of Churchill in the wintry north. There he began to work with Brian Ladoon, who was trying against the odds to save the Canadian Eskimo Dog from extinction. More photos below.

The story of their struggle has now been made into a documentary called The Last Dogs of Winter.

Caleb talks to host Marnie Chesterton about his devotion to the dogs, dodging polar bears and living at minus 60 degrees.


Trailer - The Last Dogs of Winter


Hendrik van Prooije and friends train for the 1985 Eleven Cities Tour
Hendrik van Prooije and friends train for the 1985 Eleven Cities Tour
11 cities, 200 km, 20,000 skaters

When it’s cold enough, and the ice is thick enough, the Dutch hold the Elfstedentocht ('Eleven Cities Tour'), a ice-skating race in Friesland that goes through 11 cities and covers 200 km. Dutch winters are unpredictable, so it means that sometimes 20 years can pass between races. More photos below.

Despite this, its 20,000 participants (and the Dutch themselves) are fanatical about the race, which takes place on a completely natural maze of frozen ditches, dijks, polders and canals. Hendrik van Prooije has finished the race three times, and talks to Marnie about his experiences and how a whole country spends the winter on tenterhooks, wondering whether there will be a race. FAQ: eleven facts about the Eleven Cities Race.

Click to view amateur footage of the 1941 Elfstedentocht, which took place under German occupation.


Anik See in the remote Fljotsdalur Valley, eastern Iceland
Anik See in the remote Fljotsdalur Valley, eastern Iceland
The warmth of snow

In Canada, winters are long – even in southern Canada, they usually last about half the year.

And warm is not an adjective most would use to describe the place – except a Canadian expat now living in Holland.

Who else would be homesick for snow, and a real winter?

Earth Beat producer Anik See tells us why.


How to help cities cope better with cold

Patrick Coleman
Patrick Coleman
A 'winter city' is somewhere with an average January temperature below freezing.

And while you might think these places cope well with the cold, some of them struggle to keep services running smoothly.

Patrick Coleman is from the Winter Cities Institute which was established to offer advice about how to deal with this season.

He talks to Marnie about how we can plan our public spaces better so everyone can share his love of winter. More photos below.


Breeding apples

David Bedford with some Honeycrisp apples
David Bedford with some Honeycrisp apples
For some winter is a time of hibernation. Think bears, or beach lifeguards.

For others, it's a time to catch up on all the work you can’t do in the summer because you’re outside all the time.

Meet David Bedford, scientist and apple breeder. While the summer and fall have him in the orchard all day, tasting upwards of 500 apples a day, the winter, for obvious reasons, means a retreat inside…

But that doesn’t mean he puts his feet up. For David, winter is when the real work begins. More photos below.

  • Canadian Eskimo Dog<br>&copy; Lone Pine Film &amp; TV Productions Limited/Costa Botes - http://costabotes.com/the-last-dogs-of-winter/
  • Canadian Eskimo Dog<br>&copy; Lone Pine Film &amp; TV Productions Limited/Caleb Ross - http://costabotes.com/the-last-dogs-of-winter/
  • Canadian Eskimo Dogs at play<br>&copy; Lone Pine Film &amp; TV Productions Limited/Caleb Ross - http://costabotes.com/the-last-dogs-of-winter/
  • Sentinel dog challenges an approaching polar bear<br>&copy; Lone Pine Film &amp; TV Productions Limited/Caleb Ross - http://costabotes.com/the-last-dogs-of-winter/
  • Caleb Ross with Canadian Eskimo puppy<br>&copy; Lone Pine Film &amp; TV Productions Limited/Caleb Ross - http://costabotes.com/the-last-dogs-of-winter/
  • Hendrik van Prooije&#039;s stamped race card from the 1985 Eleven Cities Tour<br>&copy; Hendrik van Prooije - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Hendrik van Prooije on the ice, Tjeukemeer lake, December 2010<br>&copy; Hendrik van Prooije - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Hendrik van Prooije on the ice, Tjeukemeer lake, December 2010<br>&copy; Hendrik van Prooije - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Skaters in the Eleven Cities Tour, 1997<br>&copy; ANP/Kippa - http://www.anp-photo.com/home.pp
  • The lead group race through Harlingen, Eleven Cities Tour, 1997<br>&copy; ANP/Marcel Antonisse  - http://www.anp-photo.com/home.pp
  • Skater in the Eleven Cities Tour, 1997<br>&copy; ANP/Kippa - http://www.anp-photo.com/home.pp
  • Racers on the Eleven Cities Tour, Bartlehiem, 1985<br>&copy; ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/home.pp
  • Skaters on the Eleven Cities Tour arrive in Harlingen, January 1940<br>&copy; ANP/VAN BILSEN  - http://www.anp-photo.com/home.pp
  • Preparations for a snowboard competition on a downtown street, Houghton, Michigan<br>&copy; Winter Cities - http://www.wintercities.com/
  • Iditarod trail sled dog race start, Anchorage<br>&copy; Winter Cities - http://www.wintercities.com/
  • Kids play area in the centre of Lulea, Sweden<br>&copy; Winter Cities - http://www.wintercities.com/
  • Snow and ice sculpture in the town square, Lulea, Sweden<br>&copy; Winter Cities - http://www.wintercities.com/
  • The back of the sculpture is a snow slide busy with kids and adults<br>&copy; Winter Cities - http://www.wintercities.com/
  • David Bedford cross-pollinating varieties of apples<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • David Bedford evaluting the maturity of various varieties of apples<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • David Bedford created the Honeycrisp apple (known in Europe as Honeycrunch)<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english

Discussion

Dave Flagel 15 January 2012 - 11:04am / Canada

I am very lucky in that my job consists of living on an island in Northern Ontario, looking after a Lodge,
which is now privately owned. [ think of the film," the Shining"] without the insanity.. Winter is the best time of the year... It is so quiet here you can actually hear it snow!! I really enjoy your program and your host,
Marnie... i've been listening for about 3 years. Thank you for an honest look at the enviiroment, and for being realistic about the issues...

user avatar
Earth Beat 19 January 2012 - 7:26pm

Thanks Dave. You've managed, in your final sentence, to articulate what we've been aiming for. Although we never managed to put it so well.
Producer Anik will be so jealous when she hears what you do. A proper Canadian winter and enough silence to hear the snow sounds like her ideal job description. So if you ever fancy a job swap....
Best wishes for your proper winter, Marnie

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