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Becoming the iceman
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Huzefa Siamwala
Becoming the iceman on 12/28/2011 20:53:20 MST Print View

     Becoming the Iceman is a project inspired by Wim Hof and Justin Rosales to show the world that anyone can adopt the ability to survive in cold temperatures with limited protection. The project’s goal is to prove that the ability to control the body’s temperature is not a genetic defect in Wim, but an ability that can be harnessed by everyone.

For many generations, we have been taught to fear the cold:
“Don’t forget your jacket! You don’t want hypothermia, do you?”
“Put your gloves on before you get frostbite!”
…Of course, these are consequences of extreme cold exposure, but with the proper understanding, anyone can learn to use the cold as a natural teacher.
     You may have seen Wim running around on television, barefoot in the snow or swimming in ice-cold waters. While he is doing those incredible feats, he isn’t in pain and hoping that he doesn’t lose his fingers or toes. He’s enjoying himself and having fun!
     Like any new tool, you must understand how it works before you can use it efficiently. This pertains to the cold as well. Wim is the epitome of what can happen if someone uses the cold to train the body.
We’re glad you asked…
     As of Fall 2009, Justin Rosales had no experience with the cold whatsoever. He was a college student attending Penn State University. After Justin’s friend, Jarrett, showed him one of Wim’s videos on YouTube, they became exceedingly interested in understanding this ability. They wanted to see if it was possible for anyone to learn. So they thought, “Why not test it on ourselves?”

     In Spring 2010, after speaking to Wim for several months via email, Wim invited Justin to attend a workshop in Poland for ten days. After many days of working as a dishwasher, Justin was able to pay for his trip to Poland and learn the technique of the Iceman.

     With more training and countless experiences with the cold, Justin began to slowly adapt. The length of time he could remain exposed to the cold increased dramatically. He quickly realized that technique to withstand the cold was, indeed, an ability that could be harnessed by anyone.
     Therefore, in the near future (See events for more info), Justin and Wim will set their sights higher. Wim will be supporting Justin in his first World Record attempt in the cold. If Justin is able to survive this event without sustaining any cold injuries, then they can finally say, without doubt, that anyone can learn to become an Iceman/Icewoman.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Becoming the iceman on 12/28/2011 21:22:16 MST Print View

At first I thought, I don't want to "become the Iceman" in the sense of Ötzi the Iceman because I don't want to be shot by an arrow and left for dead on a glacier 5,300 years ago.

But can we intentionally bump our metabolism in some desired direction?

Sure, I do it all the time.

Anyone in snow country knows that the first freezing day in Fall feels a lot colder than the last freezing day in Spring. The first sub-zero just aches in December, while in February, it's just another day of skiing.

If I've got a cold-weather trip coming up, I'll intentionally wear a little less clothing and acclimatize to colder temps sooner. If I've got a tropical vacation ahead, I dress warmer in advance and have learned that I need a few days to adjust before I can exert myself as strenously in much warmer weather.

How do we control our temperature? Through little muscles that contract blood vessels. Little muscles, like big muscles, do better when they are in condition.

I'm less clear on exactly what adaptations allow me to deal with hot weather, but many times, I've found that acclimization helps tremendously.

I note that people can "become addicted to sunglasses". If you never (or rarely) make your iris muscles constrict, they - surprise! - won't be as good as constricting as mine are (I never use sunglasses). My wife, even with her darker eyes, relies on sunglasses and, hence, needs them more than I do. Nobody 60,000 years ago whipped out his Smiths or Vaurnets.

Huzefa Siamwala
Re: Re: Becoming the iceman on 12/29/2011 10:13:07 MST Print View

Hi David, Good to read your comment.
This thread is actually a related to another thread i started "The state of market of minimalist alpine footwear" but probably nobody took it seriously.

I believe that humans has amazing capacity to adapt and evolve, physically and mentally. Think of anything: seeing underwater, seeing in dark without lights, extreme cold, ultra distance running, or mathematics. It's requires focus and lot of hardwork.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Becoming the iceman on 12/30/2011 12:14:21 MST Print View

As humans we can adapt to a good deal BUT it takes time and their are certain limits.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
double E's on 01/19/2012 07:28:29 MST Print View

i was worried this was connected to the "ELI the ICE man" mnemonic regarding voltages and currents in inductors and capacitors. glad to see it's something much more interesting. :)

Edited by asciibaron on 01/19/2012 07:30:14 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Becoming the iceman on 01/19/2012 08:07:44 MST Print View

I have to agree with David on getting used to cold; lilving in a warm part of the country has ruined me. I'll have to try wearing less before I go to the mountains next time. Not so sure I agree on the sunglass statement. The doctor who did my lasik said I would be the first one in my peer group to get cataract surgery, due to the sun damage in my eyes. So you're saying if I hadn't worn sunglasses, my eyes would be OK?

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Avoiding snow blindness on 01/19/2012 09:07:51 MST Print View

>"The doctor who did my lasik said I would be the first one in my peer group to get cataract surgery, due to the sun damage in my eyes. So you're saying if I hadn't worn sunglasses, my eyes would be OK?"


No, I was talking about being better able to constrict your pupil in bright light conditions if you've done it more recently (i.e. not been wearing sunglasses).

Your eye doctor was discussing UV exposure.

I'm always wearing prescription glasses which block UV so I don't have that motivation to wear sunglasses. If I wasn't wearing UV-blocking glasses, I would wear sunglasses more to protect against the UV, especially at altitude and on snow.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: NoCo
Hmmm on 01/20/2012 21:45:58 MST Print View

I always find it slightly amusing when somebody pulls the "it worked fine 1000 years ago" bit. Life expectancy was quite short so some problems never showed up. That or you died. I am pretty sure snow blindness was known back then, but I could be wrong.

Those are 2 different thoughts.