Arctic Return Expedition is all systems go. A reconfigured four-man team will
set out March 25, 2019 to recreate the most successful Arctic overland expedition
of the 19th century. On his 1854 surveying adventure, accompanied by
an Inuk and an Ojibway, Orcadian explorer John Rae discovered both the terrible
fate of the lost Franklin expedition and the final link in the first navigable
March, veteran polar adventurer David Reid will lead an outstanding team in
traveling 650 km overland from Naujaat (Repulse Bay) to Rae Strait, following
in the footsteps of John Rae, William Ouligbuck Jr., and Thomas Mistegan. When
personal considerations forced withdrawals, Reid rounded out his team with experienced,
highly skilled adventurers.
The party now includes:
n Canadian adventurer Frank Wolf,
named one of Canada’s top 100 explorers by Canadian Geographic Magazine in
2015. Wolf, the first to canoe across Canada in a single season, also cycled 2,000
km in winter on the Yukon River from Dawson to Nome. He has documented his
adventurers in articles and films and recently published his first book, Lines on a Map (Rocky Mountain Books).
n Scottish adventurer
Richard Smith, PhD, who studied as an astrophysicist, moved into Information
Technology, and served with the Royal Marine Commandos and the Special Boat
Service. Smith has climbed, trekked or kayaked in Alaska, Greenland, Nepal and
the French Alps, and explored the jungles of Belize and the deserts of Oman.
film-maker Garry Tutte, who created an educational web-series from
Mt. Everest, documented a 7000 km car rally from England to Gambia across the
Sahara Desert, and travelled from the remote islands of the Philippines to Hong
Kong to create an award-winning film. In 2017, Tutte led the media team aboard
the Canada C3 expedition as it circumnavigated the country’s 23,000 km
coastline from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage.
n Reid himself,
who lived on Baffin Island for 20 years and has led, organized
or participated in more than 300 Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, trips and
projects. In that time he has
traveled thousands of miles by dog sled, ski, snowmobile, boat, kayak,
ship, foot and most recently by bike, becoming the first person to cross Baffin
Island by fat-tire bike.
The expedition is hoping to raise funds for the restoration of John Rae’s birthplace, the Hall of Clestrain. The flagship sponsor is The Royal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The award-winning travel company Adventure Canada and Canada Goose are also lending major support. For more details check out the expedition website.