North Pole 2009: John and Tyler Detail Their Last Days on the Ice

A few weeks back John Huston and Tyler Fish became the first Americans to complete an unsupported expedition to the North Pole, reaching that point just hours before the last flight out of Barneo Station was set to depart for the season. At the time, we knew that it was a dramatic race to beat the clock, but we really didn’t know exactly how crazy it was until the duo recently updated their blog on the Victorinox North Pole 09 website.

When the post was written back on the 1st of May, the guys were still in Oslo, Norway and still thawing out from their expedition. Both of the men weigh in on the blog, noting that they achieved their goal of reaching the North Pole ten hours before the last plane left, but it certainly wasn’t easy. With just over three days to go they still had many miles to cover if they were going to catch their ride, and so they elected to adopt a new schedule, skiing 12 hours straight, then stopping, sleeping for an hour, then spending another two to three hours in the tent eating and resting, before hitting the trail again. As a result of this, they were able to sleep just three hours over the final 66 hours of the journey.

They also noted that their supplies were perfectly worked out, and coming into the home stretch they were actually able to up the amount of calories they were taking in (to 10,000/day!) which helped the process. More importantly, they had rationed their fuel well enough that the could continue to heat the tent and melt snow for drinking water. When they reached the Pole, they had enough fuel left for two more days on the ice.

When they finally reached their final destination, they had hoped it would be cause for celebration, and while there was a feeling of great accomplishment, it was more a sense of relief and disbelief that they were finally done. I’m not sure what they were worried about though, they made it with ten hours to spare! 😉

Great read. Really hits home with what these teams go through, and why their scheduling is so important.

Kraig Becker

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