Featured presenters and programs include: Lonnie Dupre, On Thin Ice to the North Pole; Mike Farris, I Was an Everest Zombie!; John Huston and Tyler Fish, Skiing to the North Pole the Hard Way; Rod and Sharon Johnson, 12 Pacific Crest Trail Hikes & Going Light, Kilimanjaro & Wildlife Safari, New Zealand & Australia; Erin McKittrick and Bretwood Higman, A Long Trek Home, Packrafting; Julia Niles, A Mountain Passion; Erik Simula, Arrowhead Journey; Dave Watson, K2 Skiied! First Descent!.
On Thin Ice to the North Pole The expedition’s purpose was to encourage and engage governmental policy for the foundation of an International Arctic Treaty. “Time is very short,” said Dupre. “These Arctic states need, while the sea ice is still capable of protecting this great and delicate eco-system, to come together in a treaty as stewards for all mankind in the protection of the indigenous peoples and marine animals living within the Arctic Circle.”
Lonnie Dupre and his team started out from Ellesmere Island in icy temperatures of -50 degrees. While the journey covers 480 miles, they encountered frequent leads of open water between them and the Pole, which they had to cross, often traveling many miles out of their way to find a ice bridge strong enough to handle their weight. Just before reaching the North Pole, they lashed together their sleds to use as catamarans to get across a final broad area of open frigid water.
It was a race against both time and ‘The Polar Treadmill’ – southward-heading ice drift that snatches away miles as explorers approach the North Pole. In the final days, for every mile they skied, they lost about a third of a mile to the ‘treadmill’ pushing them back.
They endured -50 degree temperatures, howling winds, blizzards, the ‘Polar Treadmill’ and dunks in icy water 650+ Miles from Start to Finish over the Ice.
While Dupre and team are happy to see the North Pole, some of what they saw on the way is deeply disturbing. Lonnie, who was the first man to reach the North Pole in summer on his One World expedition in 2006, said “I’ve never seen such large Leads (areas of open water), not even in summer. Also, multi-year ice floes are almost non-existent. “There’s only young ice, one to two years of age. That’s a clear result of climate change.
River Skiing – Extreme Sport or Prudent Fun? As many enjoy the miles of groomed and scenic ski trails along Minnesota’s North Shore there is a tantalizing alternative that a few have enjoyed. Along Lake Superior northern shoreline many rivers offer a blend of rugged red rocks, delicate formations with dynamic plunges and peaceful interludes of soft sparkling snow to ski. While exploring these frozen waterways one must move with care as patches of sparkling water appear before cascading back under the winter ice. In this presentation Russ Lowthian will share his experience skiing the Cascade and Onion River’s with tips he has picked up interviewing several experts on safe river skiing.
Victorinox North Pole 09 John Huston and Tyler Fish are the first Americans to ski unsupported and unassisted to the North Pole. The expedition has been called ‘the hardest trek on the planet.’ No sled dog, no supply drops, no outside assistance, total self-reliance.
On April 25, 2009 John and Tyler reached the North Pole after departing from the northernmost point in Canada 55 days earlier. The two skied over 480 miles, while pulling 300 pound sleds, on the fractured and unpredictable surface of the Arctic Ocean. Temperatures reached -60°F. At times they had to swim across stretches of open water. The two arrived at the pole thoroughly exhausted, having slept only 3 of the previous 66 hours. It was truly a journey of optimism, humility, responsibility, teamwork and perseverance.
The presentation will include photos and video from the expedition. Learn about what it’s like to live on the Arctic Ocean, eat the exact same food for 55 days straight, lose 25 pounds while consuming 8000 calories a day and get a feeling for pushing the envelop of human endurance.
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