MSR ambassador Eric Larsen and expedition teammate, Ryan Waters, reached the geographic North Pole last night, successfully completing their Last North Expedition! The pair has spent the last 53 grueling days traversing 480 miles of frozen Arctic Ocean via snowshoes and skis, becoming only the second American team in history to complete the crossing. The team reports that while they’re exhausted, they’re overjoyed to have achieved the end. At MSR, we’re proud of Eric’s and Ryan’s accomplishment and congratulate them on the extraordinary feat.
The last 19 miles of their journey posed the greatest challenges, as fractured ice required them to put on dry suits to swim from one small frozen peninsula to the next, all through near-whiteout conditions. Today, they’ll be picked up and flown back to Resolute, Canada, where they’ll rest for the next few days.
While the objective of this Last North Expedition was in part to break the 2006 ground expedition speed record, Eric’s ultimate goal as a polar explorer is always to “share the stories of the last great frozen places on earth.” Through this trip, he sought to raise awareness for the deteriorating ice conditions of the North Pole. Eric believes this may be the last ground expedition this region will support.
As Eric returns home and gets his bearings back in the real world, we’ll bring you his reflections from the expedition. And any tips or wisdom he wishes to impart.
You can hear Eric call in from the top of the world here.