Japanese Polar Explorer Yasu Ogita Completes Canada to Greenland Expedition

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Way back in March I told you about Japanese polar explorer Yasunaga Ogita’s plans to ski from northern Canada to Greenland across the frozen sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. At the time, he was just preparing to set out, but now, two months later, he’s finished the journey at long last, covering more than 830 km (515 miles) in the process.

Yasu initially set out from Grise Fjord on Ellesmere Island back on March 30. He then spent the next 48 days skiing to Greenland, crossing the frozen expanse of the Arctic Ocean along the way. He told ExWeb that his biggest challenge while en route was the fast moving arctic ice that was pushed along by a strong current. Crossing those moving floes can be difficult unless you’re traveling at high speed, which isn’t possible on foot when dragging a heavy sled behind.

Along the way, the Japanese polar veteran also encountered plenty of polar bears and even an arctic wolf who took an interest in his travels. He also saw seals, musk ox, caribou, and other creatures as well, proving that this part of the world isn’t quite so empty as some would think.

To prepare for the crossing Yasu spoke to other explorers who had traveled in the region before, as well as locals in both Canada and Greenland. But much of the path was completely unknown, with very few people ever crossing through this part of the world. The crossing isn’t completely unknown, but it is a very rare occurrence to say the least.

Yeas wrapped up his journey on May 16 and just recently traveled home to Japan. He is no doubt already thinking about his next adventure.

Kraig Becker