Team set to retrace Rae’s 1854 expedition

The Arctic Return team is complete. Explorers Hugh Dale-Harris and Garry Tutte round out the four-man party that will set out in April 2019 to retrace John Rae’s legendary 1854 expedition. That’s the one on which, with William Ouligbuck and Thomas Mistegan, he solved the two great mysteries of 19th-century Arctic exploration, discovering both the tragic fate of the Franklin expedition and the final link in the first navigable Northwest Passage. The two join expedition leader David Reid and flying doctor Andrew Bresnahan in undertaking to ski and slog 650 km across Boothia Peninsula through what promises to be gale-force winds, blowing snow, and bitter cold. Educator Hugh Dale-Harris has traveled more than 8,000 km in the High Arctic by dog team or skijouring, investigating climate change and retracing the routes of Otto Sverdrup and Robert Peary. He has worked with such veteran polar explorers as Will Steger and Matty McNair. Garry Tutte is an award-winning adventure film-maker whose work has taken him through more than 50 countries and from Mount Everest to the Sahara Desert. In 2017, he led the media team aboard the Canada C3 expedition that sailed from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage. The Arctic Return Expedition will return to the ruins of the cairn that John Rae built overlooking Rae Strait in 1854. The objective is to honor Rae, who has yet to be properly recognized for his achievements, and to raise funds to restore his boyhood home in Orkney, the Hall of Clestrain (painting above by Sheena Fraser McGoogan). The expedition is seeking sponsors and has recently launched a GoFundMe campaign. Check it out . . . and dig deep!

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