North Pole Arctic Expedition
On September 7th,1909 newspaper readers awoke to a stunning front page headline; “Peary Discovers the North Pole After Eight Trys in 23 Years”. It was truly the last of earthly explorations, for which numerous explorers from several nations had suffered and died for over a 300 year span.
But a week prior there was another front page headline stunner; “The North Pole is Discovered by Dr. Frederick A. Cook”. Apparently Cook returned ‘from the dead’ after more than a year in the Arctic, claiming to have of reached the north pole in April 1908, (well over a year prior to Peary).
Some recent discoveries concludes perhaps that actually neither men made it to the north pole. Thus the controversy continues …
It was 1994, I was outdoors during a cold winter in Ely, Minnesota clothed in arctic wear to help keep me warm, (well sort of).
Where I met a group of adventurers. Some of them will get a chance to make verified Arctic history in 1995. It was a shake down of sorts to see if we all could take the abuse of an arctic expedition to the north pole by dog sled and snow skis, (which has only been successfully completed arguably for only three prior times to that date).
This north pole expedition would begin on the 88th parallel. The 88th parallel is a significant departure point. It’s known to be the beginning of Robert Peary and Matthew Henson‘s ‘successful’ attempt to the ‘dash to the north pole’.
From there it’s about 140 nautical miles to the North Pole. Our goal to make 15 nautical miles per day of northward headway through the ice, rubble, over or around water leads and pressure ridges via dog sleds and snow skis.
A daunting task to say the least.
Getting there was a journey by itself …
The plan is to fly to Winnipeg Airport in Canada. Then on a Boeing 737 Charter to Resolute Bay, onto Eureka, and finally to the 88th parallel, (all on Twin Otter aircraft).
Making up the U.S. half of the 1995 North Pole Expedition team; Dr. Mark Conolly, Burt Meyer, Rick Martin, Scott Steinfeldt, Geneve Hein, Dan Hornbogen and myself. Ricardo from Venezuela also joined us, as did a special group of Chinese nationals, scientists and journalists. If successful, they will be the first Chinese to reach the North Pole by dog sled and snow skis in history.
Our entire team was led by Paul Schurke and Rick Schweitzier. World renown explorers of the icy parts of this world.
On this website you will be able to view never seen before video from the 1995 expedition. There are three videos in all. The first video is a fully edited version that gives you the feeling of what this journey felt like.
The second video is an extended version with limited editing that places you in the thick of things as it happens.
Lastly, but certainly not least is the third video, the interviews. Where I get a chance to interview our leaders and my teammates, (some that unfortunately didn’t continue to top of the World). A wonderfully diverse group of explorers from the youngest, at the age of 16 (and only female) to the eldest of 69 years. (an age span of 53 years). From three continents; North America, South America and Asia. Some of their insights of this adventure may give you a laugh or even a tear.
Hope you’ll enjoy this adventure …