Viesturs and Stetson Are Off!

Ed Viesturs and John Stetson arrived on Baffin Island last Friday, right on schedule, and have begun their arctic trek. In their first dispatch, posted exclusively to, Ed reports that they had “good travel karma” with all of their bags arriving as expected, and they were in the final stages of preparing to get the expedition underway.

Yesterday we got another update, this time from John, that said the two men were still in Pond Inlet and were awaiting their permit to enter Sirmilik National Park. They had all their supplies bought, the sleds were packed, and they were ready to go, but just had to finish up the paperwork.

Today’s dispatch tells us that they’re finally ready to go and are preparing to ski out of Pond Inlet amidst sunny skies and cold temperatures. They hope to use today as a day to shakedown their sleds, adjust their loads, and still make decent time, but they were also still working on a permit and had to meet and talk to some rangers to get an idea of what they can expect in Sirmilik National Park.

Viesturs, who is the first American to top out on all 8000m peaks, without oxygen no less, and Stetson, who is an accomplished polar explorer and dog musher, have teamed up to spend 20 days trekking through some of the most remote regions on Baffin Island. They hope to chronicle the impact of climate change on the region by visiting Inuit villages and speaking directly with the people that live there, while also testing out their gear for a future South Pole expedition.

Over the course of the next three weeks we should get some excellent reports and dispatches directly from Ed and John as they go about their journey. Stay tuned for more.

Kraig Becker

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