Polar Itinerary

Society Expedition's Proposed Itinerary and Important Notes

723 Broadway East
Seattle, WA 98102

P R O J E C T   N O R T H   P O L E   # 1 9

18 April 1985

We wish to advise you that this itinerary is subject to change without notice.


Thursday, 18 April 1985

Our small group of adventurers meet at the Edmonton Westin Hotel, Edmonton, Canada. There will be a welcome dinner and orientation lecture by Dr. George Llano, our expedition leader.


Friday, 19 April 1985

The day is spent inspecting the sights of this interesting and modern city. Included will be a stop at the local terrarium and in the afternoon, we will visit Dr. Al Oeming's Polar Park, where we will find an unusual collection of cold weather animals from around the world.


Saturday, 20 April 1985

We depart the hotel via chartered vans for the airport, where we board Pacific Western flight #581. Our flight stops at Yellowknife, N.W.T., before continuing to Resolute Bay. During the flight, we look down on mile after mile of flat frozen northlands stretching as far as the eye can see. Upon arrival in Resolute Bay, we will have passed far north of the Arctic Circle into a land of perpetual ice and snow. After transferring to our simple but comfortable accomodations, we spend the remainder of the day becoming acquainted with Resolute and its inhabitants.


Sunday, 21 April 1985

The morning is spent in Resolute Bay checking equipment, issuing arctic clothing, visiting the Hudson Bay store and preparing the two ski-equipped Twin-Otter aircraft which will be our transportation from Resolute northward. We will also have time to wander through town, perhaps photographing a caribou skin hanging from a drying rack outside a native home. Witrh everything checked and rechecked to the smallest detail, we then set out in our specially equipped aircraft for Lake hazen. After a brief refueling stop, we continue to Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island. The flight to Lake hazen is nothing short of spectacular. After thousands of miles of flat, frozen lowlands, we now enter a world of huge snowfields surrounding steep rugged mountains and massive glaciers. Here also, we may have our first chance to observe arctic wildlife. Polar bear, musk ox and the arctic fox are but a few of the creatures roaming free and untouched in this vast land.

By late afternoon, we arrive at basecamp. The camp is located on the shore of Lake Hazen, the northernmost lake in the world. Here we will be staying in an insulated dormitory-like structure with central kitchen and necessary facilities. The food is excellent and welcomed after a flight that has taken us more than 1200 miles above the Arctic Circle.


Monday, 22 April 1985 - Tuesday, 23 April 1985 - Wednesday, 24 April 1985

This is it! This is what we have come for. Remember that this is a serious venture requiring aircraft capable of landing on sea ice. Weather conditions at the Pole are monitored and when the senior pilot feels conditions are right and our window to the Pole is open, the Pole attempt begins.

Our planned route is directly up the 70th Meridian, 560 miles to the Pole and 560 miles back to Lake Hazen. The flight takes us out across an unending sea of frozen ice, twisted and broken by the forces of a moving ocean below. Enroute it will be necessary to refuel twice, also taking on barrels of fuel to again refill the tanks at the Pole.

If weather and ice conditions permit, and this is the time of the year when they most often do, then we will stand where few but the most adventurous have stood before. After spending enough time for picture taking and sipping arctic chilled champagne, we begin our return flight to Lake Hazen. (Did you know champagne turns to slush at these temperatures? So don't dally with yours.)

The next day will be spent fishing for arctic char, exploring the wonders of the Ruggles River, watching for wildlife and absorbing the solitude and vastness of this land of ice and snow.


Thursday, 25 April 1985

In the early morning, we begin our flight back to Grise Fiord where we will spend the remainder of the day exploring the village. Here in the northernmost non-military community in North America, we will have a chance to observe firsthand the life of the frontier Eskimo. If conditions permit, we may journey by dog sled across the ice to visit the site of the original Grise Fiord village, or perhaps have our native guides build an igloo where the more adventurous of our party can spend the night. The rest of us will sleep in the small but comfortable hotel.


Friday, 26 April 1985

Weather permitting, the return flight to Resolute Bay is via the North Magnetic Pole where we may see the effect it has on our compasses. Again we will be on the lookout for polar bears, musk ox and seals. The night is spent in Resolute Bay.


Saturday, 27 April 1985

We have a leisurely morning for last minute picture taking with a farewell dinner around noon. In the early afternoon, our Pacific Western flight #582 takes us back to Edmonton, where rooms will be waiting at the Edmonton Westin Hotel.


Sunday, 28 April 1985

After having had an exciting adventure, we leave the group today for our various flights homeward.



Travelers should be aware that while traveling to remote areas, minor inconveniences and changes in schedule are very possible. This itinerary is subject to change without notice and we ask our travelers for their patience and understanding should such circumstances occur. Your escorts and guides are professionals in travel and will make sure that the best possible alternative is arranged when a change is necessary.



Temperatures range from -40 F to 35 F from Resolute Bay northward and it is suggested that expedition members dress in layers, as the local inhabitants tend to overheat their homes and other structures. In addition, windchill becomes an important factor in regulating the amount of clothing required during those periods we are outdoors. Therefore, the expedition leader will discuss expedition clothing in Edmonton before heading northward. Members lacking any specific cold weather items will have an opportunity to purchase what they need in Edmonton. The far north can experience sudden and unexpected changes in weather with temperatures dropping far below or rising high above the anticipated range. With proper clothing and dressing techniques the cold climate presents no problem and expedition members can expect to make the entire journey in comfort and warmth.

The following items are necessary for your comfort on the program:

  • One pair of boots appropriate for walking on snow and ice
  • At least two pair of heavy wool socks
  • Two pair long thermal underwear
  • Mittens or gloves (must be wool)
  • Wool stocking cap or balaclava (covers face)
  • Dark sun glasses (plastic not metal frames)
  • Moccasins, down booties or slippers to wear indoors on cold floors after taking off boots at the door. (Keeps sox from getting wet.)
  • Thin socks or sock liners
  • Wool sweater(s)
  • One pair of wool or ski pants (to be worn separately and under arctic pants)
  • One pair glove liners or thin gloves (to allow finger dexterity needed for photography while providing some protection from cold)
  • Personal toiletries (including sunblock to prevent sunburn and skin lotion for dry climate)

Final documents from Society Expeditions will include a back pack, flight bag, and parka to wear over layered sweaters.

In Resolute Bay, you will be provided heavy outer parkas; arctic overpants, and outer gloves. These will be returned in Resolute before the flight back to Edmonton. (You will feel like a round polar bear with about the same coordination.)

Arctic boots are available for loan at Resolute but you may wish to buy your own and take them with you, especially if you have very small or very large feet. You need good quality cold-weather boots with leather uppers similar to the Sorel Caribou or Timberline. They must have thick felt removeable liners. Insoles are also recommended. Therefore your boots must be larger than your normal size so that with two pairs of thick socks, circulation is not restricted. You must be able to wiggle your toes.

Any dress clothing is to be stored in a separate suitcase at the hotel in Edmonton while we are up north. In the arctic you will need only outdoor clothing and that needed for sleeping. For the portion of the trip from Resolute to Lake Hazen and return, each person is allowed one suitcase, pack or duffle and one carry-on with a total weight of 30 lbs. including camera equipment. (A pack or duffle is easier to handle on the ice.) From Lake Hazen to the Pole you will take only a small pack.

With proper preparation, the cold is not a serious problem and the scenery is worth it. We know you will enjoy the program.




Members must plan to arrive in Edmonton prior to 6:00 pm on the first day of the program. They are to transfer themselves to the WESTIN HOTEL, since all arrive at different times. A bus leaves the arrival area every half hour for the major downtown hotels including the WESTIN. Allow at least an hour, a little more during rush hour. Taxis are also available at a higher cost. We will have a welcome dinner about 7:00 pm followed by an orientation of adventures to come. It is most important that all be there.


On the 11th day, homeward flights may be booked for any time. There are no planned activities for this day. The program includes breakfast (and lunch if an afternoon flight), at the hotel with members transferring themselves to the airport for their respective flights.


Film - Bring sufficient film for the entire program. It can be purchased in Edmonton but in Canada processing is automatically included. (Film is not likely to be available north of Edmonton.) We recommend 64 speed film although some faster film would be good for late night shots when its only partially light.

Lenses - A telephoto lens is recommended for scenery (mountains, glaciers etc), especially for shots from the plane. If we see wildlife, a telephoto will be very necessary to bring it close enough. Ice and snow can be deceivingly bright but in the Arctic there may also be a slight haze and a haze filter may be desirable. You may wish to add foam to your present carrying case for added protection against vibration and cold.

Batteries - For cameras, light meters etc. which need batteries, be sure to bring several extras as they give out very quickly in the cold. Batteries should be carried in an inside pocket to be kept warm.



Amundsen, Roald, My Life as an Explorer. Doubleday, Page and Co., New York, 1927.
This comprehensive record covers Amundsen's Gjoa expeditions to Greenland and the Northwest Passage (1918-21), the 1926 flight over the North Pole with Ellsworth, and the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition of 1910-12. It includes his strong objections to Stefansson's book, The Friendly Arctic.

Banks, Mike, High Arctic. The Story of the British North Greenland Expedition. With four chapters by Angus Erskine. J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London, 1957.
This story of the men and activities of the British North Greenland Expedition of 1952-54 is nicely illustrated by pen and ink sketches of Lilias Stirling introducing each chapter. The expedition’s main base was on the shores of a lake in little explored Dronning Louise Land of Northeast Greenland. A small operational and research base on the Inland Ice (North Ice) established by Erskine served as a weather station and operational center. The deputy commander, R.A. Hamilton, further described the problems and post—expeditionary activities in Venture to the Arctic, Pelican Books, Penguin Books, Ltd. Harmondsworth, Midlands, U.K., 1958.

Baird, Patrick D., The Polar World. Longman, London, 1964.
An overall modern treatment of progress in polar knowledge set within the historical context of discovery and exploration and emphasizing the economic and political significance of the re gions, both Arctic and Antarctic. The regional description of the Canadian Arctic, native people, landforms and regional weather are enhanced by numerous illustrations.

Crisler, Louis, Arctic Wild. Harper & Bros., New York, 1958.
Two Walt Disney photographers went into the Brooks Range, Alaska, to record the activities and photograph wolves and caribou. A personal but interesting account of wildlife along the Northern Slope.

Digby, Peter and Vi, Beyond the Pack-Ice. Herbert Jenkins, London, 1954.
The setting is Scoresby Sound, East Greenland and a tale of man and wife carrying out marine research from a remote Greenland settlement and of the people they lived with and met.

Eames, Hugh, Winner Lose All. Dr. Cook and the Theft of the North Pole. Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1973.
This biography of Dr. Frederick Cook attempts to demonstrate that Cook beat Peary to the Pole, and reveals the vicious vilification campaign launched by Peary’s millionaire supporters and the National Geographic Society that hounded Cook to the end of his life. Cook is described as the ‘Prince of Losers.”

Giaever, John, In the Land of the Musk-Ox. Tales of Wildlife in Northeast Greenland. Jarrolds, London, 1958.
A tale of summer and winter in the world of ice and snow and its wild inhabitants, migratory birds, musk-ox, white wolves, the polar bear, lemming and fox based on experience and observation.

Gilberg, Aage, Eskimo Doctor. W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1948.
The story of a young Danish doctor living with Polar Eskimos in Thule, Greenland, whom he called a “truly great people.”

Grenfell, Sir Wilfred, The Romance of Labrador. The MacMillan Co., New York, 1934.
Grenfell first came to Labrador as a missionary doctor and dedicated his life to the improvement of medical facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Hospitals, nursing facilities and ships essential for medical assistance along Labrador’s coast have all been provided by the interest generated by Dr. Grenfell’s numerous books and articles. These include Vikings of Today, The Harvest of the Sea, Down to the Sea, Adrift on an Ice Pack, Labrador Days and Down North on the Labrador all summed up in Forty Years for Labrador and a Labrador Doctor.

Hayes, Isaac Israel, The Open Polar Sea. A Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery Toward the North Pole in the Schooner UNITED STATES. Hurd & Houghton, London, 1867.
A record of early exploration of the northeast coast of Ellesmere Land and the northwest coast of Greenland in the area of Smith Sound to the Arctic Ocean. The schooner’s name was given to an extensive range of mountains in Grinnell Land, Ellesmere. An account of polar exploration in the late 1800s by sailing vessel and of one of the earliest contacts with the remote Polar Eskimos.

Hayes, J. Gordon, The Conquest of the North Pole. Recent Arctic Exploration. MacMillan Co., New York, 1934.
Review of early polar explorations up to the 1930s, including the Danish field work in Northeast Greenland, Russian in Franz Josef Archipelago, the Northeast Passage attempts, Rasmussen in Thule and the beginning of the Canadian Mounted Police Patrols in the Canadian High Arctic. It also reviews the Oxford and Cambridge University Expeditions in Greenland and Spitsbergen and the development of aviation in the Arctic. Critical comments on Peary's claims of discovery.

Hensen, Matthew A., A Negro Explorer at the North Pole. Frederick A. Stokes & Co., 1912.
An account by Admiral Peary’s personal servant, the first Negro and second man to reach the North Pole. Hensen learned the Eskimo language, became expert in driving dog teams, excelled in hunting, and through his physical endurance was invaluable in the success of Peary's march to the North Pole. Other books on Hensen are: Ahdoolo! by Floyd Miller, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1963, and Dark Companion by Bradley Robinson, National Travel Club, New York, 1947.

Herbert, Wally, Across the Top of the World. The Last Great Journey on Earth. G.P. Putman’s Sons, New York, 1971.
Tale of the 3800-mile journey from Point Barrow, Alaska to Spitsbergen by way of the North Pole. Wally led the British Trans-Arctic Expedition of 1968-69, consisting of four men and 34 Huskies on a 476-day adventure-packed journey. It is a dramatic story of the longest journey in time and distance in the history of Polar Exploration.

Howarth, David, The Sledge Patrol. The MacMillan Co., New York, 1957.
During WW II the Germans infiltrated the hunter community of Northeast Greenland to set up weather stations for meteorological data important to the German war effort. The action takes place in 1942-43 at Sabine Island, the patrolling by the Danes of the coast by sledge patrol, attack by Germans and the eventual capture of Germans by U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker detachment under Captain Thomas. An exciting chapter of hardship and perseverance under polar conditions.

Jenness, Diamond, The People of the Twilight. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1959.
A record of Jenness' two years with the primitive people of the Coronation Gulf Region in 1914. He was a member of Stefansson's Arctic Expedition. As Nansen states: "One cannot read this charming narrative without getting a deep sympathy for these simple, unsophisticated children of the twilight..."

Kuralt, Charles, To the Top of the World. The First Plaisted Polar Expedition. Hutchinson of London, 1969.
Ralph Plaisted and 12 amateurs undertook a remarkable journey to the North Pole and although the expedition got only to 83° 36’N, it provided the experience for the second attempt in 1968 when Plaisted and three companions reached 90° N. Plaisted may well have been the first man to reach the Pole (see the references on Peary and Cook), certainly the first to do so by snowmobile. Unfortunately there is no written account of the second Plaisted North Pole Expedition. An interesting meeting of Wally and Ralph at Irene Bay, North Ellesmere is given by Kuralt.

Matthiessen, Peter, Oomingmak. The Expedition to the Musk-Ox Island in the Bering Sea. Hastings House, New York, 1967.
In 1930, 33 Greenland musk-ox were released on Nunivak Island where they increased into a herd of over 400 animals. John Teal captured some of the musk-ox for transport to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, convinced that they could be domesticated. Matthiessen tells how this operation was carried out and in addition, tells much about the musk-ox.

Maxwell, A.E. and Ruud, Ivar, The Year-Long Day J.B. Lippincott Co., New York, 1976.
The story of a Norwegian trapper's experience in Svalbard (Spitsbergen) and particularly encounters with polar bear. It is a story of one man’s survival 400 miles from the North Pole and 100 miles from the nearest settlement.

Mirsky, Jeannette, To the Arctic! The Story of Northern Exploration from Earliest Times to the Present.
A thorough history of Arctic exploration from the time of the Elizabethan adventures to 1937. The book includes a detailed account of the early aviation activities, a chronology of Arctic expeditions and is introduced by V. Stefansson. To the Arctic! was first published in 1934 under the title To the North but was withdrawn because of a libel-action threat by the late Dr. Frederick Cook, contender with Peary for the claim of being first at the Pole. Except for new prefaces, the text is un changed. (Provided by Society Expeditions as part of the final documents.)

Peary, Robert E., The North Pole. Its Discovery in 1909 Under the Auspices of the Peary Arctic Club. With an Introduction by Theodore Roosevelt and a Foreword by Gilbert H. Grosvenor. Frederick A. Stokes & Co., New York, 1910.
Peary’s personal story of his success in reaching the North Pole. Other books by Peary recording activities in the Arctic are: Nearest the Pole. A Narrative of the Polar Expedition of the Peary Arctic Club in the S.S. Roosevelt. Doubleday, Page & Co., 1907; Northward, Over the Great Ice. A Narrative of Life and Work Along the Shores and Upon the Interior Ice Cap of Northern Greenland in the Years 1886 and 1891-97, with a Description of the Little Tribe of Smith Sound Eskimos, the Most Northerly Human Beings in the World, and an Account of the Dis covery and Bringing Home of the Saviksue or Great Cape York Meteorites. Frederick A. Stokes & Co., New York (2 vol.), 1898.

Poncins, Gontran de., Kabloona. (The White Man). Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc., New York.
The tale begins in Edmonton and ends on King William Island, where Poncins lived with a group of 25 Eskimos. The book, now a classic, describes the Eskimo character and way of life with some memorable sketches of individuals.

Price, Ray, The Howling Arctic. Peter Martin Associates, Toronto, 1970.
An interesting account of the remarkable people who made Canada sovereign in the farthest north. It tells of people and events of the Eastern Arctic - including the English first attempt to patch-up differences between Eskimos and Indians in 1754 result ing in the death of whites, and Diamond Jenness’ solution in the 20th Century; religious frenzy among the Beicher Island Eskimos, incidents at Arctic Bay, Pangnirtung, Pond Inlet and of the remarkable Captain J.E. Bernier and the possession of lands and islands situated to the north of the Dominion and extending to the Pole.

Rawlins, Dennis, Peary at the North Pole. Fact or Fiction? Robert B. Luce, Inc., Washington, D.C., 1973.
Another book on the Peary-Cook controversy that takes the position that Peary, not Cook, perpetuated a fraud.

Rodahl, Kaare, North. The Nature and Drama of the Polar World. Harper & Brothers, New York, 1953.
This relates the discovery and first occupation of the Arctic Ocean’s ice islands and particularly of T-3 or Fletcher's Island. It focuses on the biology of the Polar Basin with reference to North Greenland, North Ellesmere and contact with native Eskimos.

Scherman, Katherine, Spring on an Arctic Island. Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 1956.
The setting, Bylot Island north of Baff in Island, was named for the master of Henry Hudson's ship and one of the mutineers who cast Hudson adrift in Hudson Bay. It is a story of every day life with Eskimos during the four seasons.

Sutton, George M., Eskimo Year. The MacMillan Co., New York, 1934.
Sutton, outstanding bird artist and naturalist tells of his life on Southampton Island in Hudson Bay in 1929-30. The original inhabitants of this island disappeared shortly after the coming of white men but it is still the focus for archeo logical as well as biological research. Sutton’s Iceland Summer (University of Oklahoma Press, 1961) is an equally entertaining book on his bird painting excursion to Iceland. Both books give an insight to the Arctic lands and animals which enthralled him.

Vorren, Ornulv, Norway North of 65. Oslo University Press, 1960.
The sixteen subjects by as many authors, each a specialist in his field, give a good view of the land forms, climate, history, agriculture, reindeer, industry, fisheries, sealing and whaling, economy, industry and mining and the life and distribution of Lapps north of 65. A good source reference.

Weems, John Edward, Race for the Pole. Henry Holt and Co., New York, 1960.
The preface by Vilhjalmur Stefansson ends: "Race for the Pole has, I feel, justice for Peary, charity for Cook. As a mystery yarn, unraveled by a successor of Conan Doyle, it has suspense and thrill, and a satisfying climax."

Wright, Theon, The Big Nail. The Story of the Cook-Peary Feud. Who was First to the North Pole? John Day Co., New York, 1970.
The greatest dispute in the history of exploration was the con tention between Robert E. Peary and Dr. Frederick A. Cook on their claims to being first at the North Pole. Strong personalities were involved - Amundsen, Bob Bartlett, a group of rich indus trialists who formed the Peary Arctic Club, Gilbert Grosvenor and the National Geographic Society and a bitter editorial war between two great newspapers. Who was first to the North Pole?
Lomen, Carl J., The Camel of the Frozen North.
Vol. 36, No. 6, December 1919.

MacMillan, Donald B., The Bowdoin in North Greenland.
Vol 47, No. 6, June 1925.

The MacMillan Arctic Expedition Sails.
Vol. 48, No. 2, August 1925.

The MacMillan Arctic Expedition Returns.
Vol 48, No. 5, November 1925.

Byrd, Richard Evelyn, The First Flight to the North Pole.
Vol. 50, No. 3, September 1926.

Wilkins, Sir Hubert, Our Search for the Lost Aviators.
Vol. 74, No. 2, August 1938.

Bartlett, Robert A., Greenland from 1898 to Now.
Vol. 78, No. 1, July 1940.

Marsh, Donald B., Canada's Caribou Eskimos.
Vol. 91, No. 1, January 1947.

Stirling, M. & Kihn, Nomads of the Far North.
Vol. 96, No. 4, October 1949.

MacMillan, Miriam, Far North with "Captain Mac".
Vol. 100, No. 4, October 1951.

Scheffer, V.B. & Kenyon, K., The Fur Seal Herd Comes of Age.
Vol. 101, No. 4, April 1952.

Grosvener, G. & McKnew, T., We Follow Peary to the Pole.
Vol. 104, No. 4, October 1953.

Munoz, Juan, Cliff Dwellers of the Bering Sea.
Vol. 105, No. 1, January 1954.

Stafford, Marie Peary, The Peary Flag Comes to Rest.
Vol. 106, No. 4, October 1954.

Collins, Henry B. & Ostroff, E., Vanished Mystery Men of Hudson Bay.
Vol. 110, No. 5, November 1956.

Lalor, Jr., W.G., Submarine Through the North Pole.
Vol. 115, No. 1, January 1959.

Anderson, Cmdr. W.R., The Arctic as a Sea Route of the Future.
Vol. 115, No. 1, January 1959.

Douglas, W.O., Banks Island: Eskimo Life on the Polar Sea.
Vol. 125, No. 5, May 1964.

Guthrie, Russell D., A Look at Alaska's Tundra.
Vol. 141, No. 3, March 1972.

Irwin Colin, Trekking the Frozen Northwest Passage.
Vol.145, No. 3, March 1974.

Rearden, J., Caribou - Hardy Nomads of the North.
Vol. 146, No. 6, December 1974.

Momatiuk, M., Still Eskimo - Still Free. The Inuit of Umingmaktok.
Vol. 152, No. 5, November 1977

Ray, Carleton, Learning the Ways of the Walrus.
Vol. 156, No. 4, October 1979.

copyright (c) 1985 Society Expeditions

For more information, contact Bob Antol
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