Expedition watch: Ellesmere Island on the footsteps Otto Sverdrup about to start

Posted: Mar 20, 2013 01:13 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) John Huston, Tobias (Toby) Thorleifsson, Hugh Dale-Harris and Kyle O’Donoghue, who plan to travel 630 miles in 72 days on Ellesmere Island, retracing Otto Sverdrup's 1898 to 1902 footsteps, are about to start their expedition.

From Ottawa in Canada where the team gathered, they are doing some island hopping; first to Baffin Island where they will be met by polar explorer Matty McNair in Iqaluit today, and then off to Ellesmere Island.

Video: Hugh talking to Moring Live CTV Ottawa. The team plans to cover 18 km per day. Each person has two sleds and a dog each. The dogs are mainly taken with to act as an early warning system against polar bears, says Hugh.

Between 1898 and 1902 Norwegian Otto Sverdrup led the 2nd Fram Expedition, which mapped over 150,000 km2 of what is today the northernmost part of Canada. Due to a lack of unnecessary drama and his quiet nature, Sverdrup’s astounding polar achievements and peerless feats of leadership remain unheralded. Sverdrup never sought the spotlight; instead he focused on the ingredients necessary to attain expeditionary success: planning and preparation, steadfast leadership in critical situations, the cultivation of a highly functional team, and a safe return home, states the international 2013 team.

Since then the area, and in particular Ellesmere Island, has been rarely visited by adventurers.

In March 2013 John Huston (USA), Tobias Thorleifsson (Norway), Hugh Dale-Harris (Canada), and Kyle O’Donoghue (South Africa), will attempt a 630 miles traverse on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic. Powered by wind, muscle, and four canine skijoring companions, the expedition will travel through one of the last untouched wildernesses on the planet. During the 72-day journey the team will document, film, and share their experiences. The history of exploration on Ellesmere Island combines the celebrated polar traditions of Norway, the United States, and Canada. Ellesmere Island also represents a great responsibility moving forward.

Expedition Goals

Travel through one of the last untouched places on earth.
Film and document the journey for distribution.
Celebrate the 2nd Fram Expedition led by Otto Sverdrup.
Advocate for climate change education.
Otto Sverdrup – The ‘Norwegian’ Explorer
Unwavering leadership in the face of adversity

The Expedition Team courtesy their website:

John Huston – Chicago, USA – Age 36
North Pole 2009: 1st American unsupported expedition
South Pole 2007/08: Led 57-day, 720-mile ski expedition
Greenland 2005, Amundsen Expedition: Team Member of Norwegian 72-day dogsled-ski expedition – BBC, The History Channel, NRK
Polar Explorer, Motivational Speaker, Author, Educator, Safety & Logistics Consultant, Entrepreneur, Degrees in History, Anthropology, Geography – Northwestern University

Tobias (Toby) Thorleifsson – Oslo, Norway – Age 33
Greenland 2008: Kite across ice cap, education project
Ellesmere Island 2008: 65-day dogsled expedition, education project
Antarctica 2007, Frans Josef Land 2007: Expedition team member
Public Speaking: in front of over 60,000 people in the last two years.
Arctic Explorer, Acclaimed Historian, Sailor, Public Speaker, Educator, Writer, Father, Consultant, Masters Degree in Polar History – Simon Fraser University

Hugh Dale-Harris – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Age 41
North Pole 2005: World record dogsled expedition, co-leader
Arctic Transect 2004: 155-day, 5000km dogsled expedition, educational project across Arctic Canada
Igloolik, Baffin Island, Canada 1998-2008: Lived and taught in Inuit village
Adventurer, Educator, Father, Sled Dog Musher, Photographer, Researcher, Educational Film Maker, Masters Degree in Education – Lakehead University

Kyle O’Donoghue – Cape Town, South Africa – Age 32
Antarctic Peninsula Expeditions 2005-2012: Filmmaker for 2041 Project
Seven Summits Seven Flights 2010-present: ongoing paragliding expedition film, summited Mt Elbrus, Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro
Amazon Expedition 2004 Filmmaker on first descent of Rio Maranon, Peru
Expedition Filmmaker, Writer, Mountaineer. Degree in Journalism and Philosophy – Rhodes University.


Previous - ExWeb interview with John Huston, celebrating Otto Sverdrup and the 2nd Fram expedition

First unsupported Americans to the North Pole: Interview with "Forward" authors John Huston and Tyler Fish

ExWeb interview with John Huston, “the Arctic Ocean is the most ‘alive’ force of nature I have ever encountered”

ExWeb interview with Jon Turk (Ellesmere): "Whatever you do, it’s going to be hard, so prepare to endure"

ExWeb interview with Erik Boomer (Ellesmere): walrus attack scarier than polar bear attacks

New Land 2013 Ellesmere Expedition website

New Land 2013 Ellesmere Expedition on Facebook

This expedition (and other expeditions/ adventures/ projects with RSS feeds) can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom App for iPhone/iPad and on Android as well as at ExplorersWeb.

ExplorersWeb Expedition List


courtesy New Land 2013 Expedition: Ellesmere Island, SOURCE

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