April 28, 2009 2 Comments
At the beginning of March, I shared the story of John Huston and Tyler Fish. These two wanted to be the first Americans to ski unassisted to the North Pole. They did it on April 25th, the 55th day of the mission. By not without some drama. Here is an excerpt from a press release less than two days earlier:
Minneapolis, Minn. (8 a.m. April 24, 2009) – Forward Expeditions LLC announced today that John Huston and Tyler Fish will now have to ski, snowshoe and possibly swim 28 nautical miles in approximately 50 hours to reach the North Pole by Sunday morning, April 26. Huston and Fish are on Day 53 of their historic Victorinox® North Pole ’09 Expedition, and the Russian base that has agreed to fly them out from the Pole is closing on Sunday due to deteriorating sea ice conditions. If they have not reached the Pole by that deadline, the flight will pick them up where they are – even though that might be just a few miles from their goal.
They were leaving one way or the other but after many months of preparation and 50+ days of travel in brutal conditions they were not to be denied. They traveled for 16 hours and 15 minutes on their last day! That was after working shifts of traveling for 12 hours and resting for three for the three days before that. Pushing themselves to the limit on a 475-mile trek to the North Pole from Canada’s Ellesmere Island.
John is a local, Chicago area boy. 32 years old. Graduated from Northwestern University in 1999. He had already led an exhibition to the South Pole. Not bad for 32. Too bad he is a White Sox fan. No accounting for taste.
Tyler Fish is an old man of 35. According to his bio on the expedition website, According to Tyler, there has never been a day too cold to strap on some sort of ski. He spends his winters skiing at a competitive level in long distance cross-country ski marathons and also coaching a local ski team in Ely, Minnesota.
Since I heard they made it I have been considering adjectives to describe what they did. Heroic? Maybe. They did not save lives but they meet this definition of Hero (from Dictionary.com) “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities”. Amazing? Certainly but not particularly descriptive or illuminating. Courageous. Definitely. I am open to reader suggestions.
One point of trivia. They consumed 8,000 calories a day. Think 320 candy bars. They say with all they worked off it could have been more. Now there is a diet. The North Pole Diet. Copyrighted. Next $1 million idea.
Check out the Expedition website here.