North Pole Expeditions,  famous explorers and early explorers that went to the poles.

List, Books and Videos of North Pole & South Pole Famous Explorers and Early Explorers.

North Pole Expedition 2001 photo of an unknown explorer. Who really went to the North and South Poles and When.  This is a continuously growing list of Books, Videos and DVD's of North Pole and South Pole Explorers.

The complete list of early famous explorers from early explorers to the modern day polar globe explorer.

Books and descriptions on famous explorers from early explorers to modern day globe explorer that went to the North Pole and South Pole.

Some of the famous explorers made it to the poles and some of them died trying, and yet, it is believed that some of the early explorers just said that they made it to the pole.  Not to long ago going to the North Pole was an extremely dangerous expedition but now, getting to the North Pole, is just another vacation package guided by professional guides.
  Many of the people that you find on these expeditions are just the modern day globe explorer. While many of these people are modern day globe explorers. You can find other north pole pages by using these search words:  north pole, north pole tours, polar, arctic, arctic exploration, north pole expeditions, polar expeditions.  Or just click on this link for North Pole Tours.  At this link, you too can become a real globe explorer also.

North Pole Expedition 2001.  *  North Pole Expedition 2002.  *  North Pole Expedition 2003.  *  North Pole Expedition 2005.

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This is part of a North Pole, Arctic and Antarctic study that I am making for my personal knowledge of famous explorers that went to the poles and they were also a globe explorer.

Their are some people omitted in this list.  The more I read about famous explorers, the more people that I find that were part of these expeditions and had expeditions of their own.  Many of the dates cross over the other dates and some of the dates were really just a blur in my mind.   So far I haven't found any site that covers every explorer or has a large account of the expeditions in the order of the dates of these expeditions.  I'm doing the best I can to insure the accuracy of this page and it's links, but the more I learn, the more revisions that have to be made.  This can only mean that there are errors that I have yet to encounter.  C. Jeff Dyrek, Webmaster, Arctic Explorer.  You can read about my personal expeditions at the links at the bottom of this page.
1845 Sir John Franklin set out to find the North West Passage and never retuned.  He started his adventure with two ships the,  HMS Terror and the HMS Erebus, and 128 men on this journey which has become the greatest disaster in Arctic history.  Here are some links that explain the entire story.
1893 - 1896  Fridtjof Nansen Drifted in the frozen ice from Siberia towards the North Pole on the ship "Fram"  During the time when his ship was frozen in the ice, he made a dash for the North Pole on ski's and dogsleds but never made it to the North pole.
1894 Jackson-Harmsworth Arctic expedition.
1897, July 11th,   Salomon August Andree. 
Headed for the North Pole in a Hot-Air Balloon.  After a three day flight they make an emergency landing on the ice.  They walked on the ice pack for three months and in October they reached White Island where their bodies were found 33 years later.  They never made it to the North Pole.
1898 Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery:  the first expedition to stay the winter in Antarctica.  Their expedition was to explore the coast of Antarctica when their ship was stuck in the Ice for 13 Months.  Amundsen was on this crew.
1903 - 1905  Roald Amundsen:  Born 1872 at Borge, near the town of Sarpsborg, in southeast Norway.    Set out to find the North West Passage and study the Magnetic North Pole.  Found a natural harbor on King William Island, northwest of Hudson Bay.  The Expedition remained at this port for two years and named it Gjoahavn.  From the Eskimos, Amundsen learned how to drive a dog team what kind of clothes the Eskimos wore, their customs and what type of food they ate.  Their expedition was successful and the "Gjoa" was the first ship to travel the Northwest Passage.  5 Dec 1905 the news of this expedition has reached the world from a town named Eagle City Alaska.
1909, April  Robert Peary / MaThew Henson had been successful in being the first man to reach the North Pole.
Robert Perry and Mathew Hensen set off for the North Pole in 1909.  He came to the conclusion that it would be safer to travel to the pole in late winter than during the summer because the ice was much firmer and there were fewer Leads (Cracks).  They also realized that it would be easier to reach the pole from Canada's Ellesmere island than the previously thought Greenland.  Peary and his entourage of 23  men, 133 dogs, and 19 sleds set off from Ellesmere Island on March 1, 1909.   As the Expedition continued, the crew has been reduced in size and weight where bBy the time April 6, 1909, rolled around, only six men, Peary, Henson, and four Eskimos,  Oatah, Egingwah, Seegloo, and Ookeah.
1909 Expedition to the North Pole
Robert Perry on top of the World  
1911, December 14th,  Roald Amundsen was the first man to stand on the South Pole.
1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton tried to make the first crossing of Antarctica.  The ship "Endurance" became trapped in the Weddell Sea ice.  The twenty seven man crew was stranded for months on the ice pack and escaped to Elephant Island where Ernest devised one of the greatest rescues of all time.
1912 January,   Robert F. Scott
believed that he was the first to reach the south pole.  However, he found the remains of Roald Amundsen's camp and realized they got there first.  Click here to see the only other attempt to cross the Antarctic Continent by land by Curtis Lieber modern day explorer  Robert Scott made it to the pole after an extremely exhausting journey.  The weather was much worse than expected, their supplies were always running short and the said it was more work than they ever expected a man can do.  Their return trip was even more arduous.  Their depots were seventy miles apart and when they got to the depots, they found that much of the fuel in the poorly sealed cans had evaporated leaving them cold and required them to eat meat that was only only partially cooked. Robert Scott and his team died after a journey that left them frozen and frostbit with no hope for survival.  Robert Scott wrote twelve letters to his family and friends.
Robert Falcon Scott a large bio This is a real great story.  
1914 Irish explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton led an expedition to cross the Antarctic continent.
1922 Roald Amundsen aboard the ship "Maud" made an attempt to drift, frozen into the ice, across the North Pole.  The Maud was not successful in making it to the North Pole but was frozen into the ice for three years off of Wrangel Island on the far northeast of Russia.
1925, May 21st, Roald Amundsen an unsuccessful flight by two aircraft to the North Pole.  The planes landed 150 km from the pole, however, needed repair and only one of them made it back safely.
1926 May,  Richard Byrd flew the first airplane over the North Pole.  The plane was a Fokker monoplane.
Photos of Byrd's grave site and a brief description of his accomplishments
USS Richard E. Byrd DDG-23
1926, May 11th, Roald Amundsen, Lincld Ellsworth, Umberto Nobile and Hjalmar Riser-Larsen started their successful flight aboard the Airship "Norge." 
November 6, 1928   Sir Hubert Wilkins was the first to fly an airplane in Antarctica, he preceded Byrd by only ten weeks.
Hubert Wilkins
Sir Hubert Wilkins Chronology
Sir Douglas Mawson was the first to use radio in the Antarctic.  His expedition aboard the Aurora was designed to study the Antarctic coast south of Australia.  In addition to his costal studies, he was to provide an extensive study of the ocean and its floor.
Sir Douglas Mawson Bio
1928, May, Nobile's airship "Italia" crashed in the Arctic.
American Society of Polar Philatelists
brief description of Umberto Nobile
1929, November 29th Bernt Balchen  piloted a Ford Tri-motor aircraft flew over the South Pole.  Bernt became the first pilot to fly over both poles.
1933 -1935, Lincoln Ellsworth Trans Antarctic expedition, 
Another Lincoln Ellsworth article
1955 Louise Arner Boyd,  First woman to fly over the North Pole, at the age of 68.
Another Bio of Louise Boyd
1968 - 1969 Sir Wally Herbert
Was the first man to cross the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean on foot.  The data collected by his expedition during his 1968-69 trip across the Arctic would is still used by scientists seeking to measure the melting of the North Pole's ice cap and the effects of climate change.  His attention then turned to the North Pole. Taking a route from Alaska to Spitsbergen, a remote Norwegian island, he covered the 3,720 miles in 16 months, reaching the North Pole on April 6, 1969. He spent the winter on the frozen ice cap, camping through three months of total darkness in temperatures dipping as low as 58 degrees below zero.  Roy Koerner, a glaciologist accompanying Herbert, drilled more than 250 ice core samples during the journey. Those samples now help scientists measure the impact of climate change on the pole.  Herbert was born in York, England, on Oct. 24, 1934 and has died at the age of 72.  Click here to see Sir Wally Herbert's Website.
1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2003  Curtis Lieber  Bio here   Curtis Lieber is a modern day explorer with trips to the amazone, North Pole, South Pole and more.  You can read about him at this link  Click Here is Curtis Lieber's trip to the South Pole with an Astronaut and Cosmonaut.

Read about the 2001 North Pole Expedition

Read about the 2002 North Pole Expedition

Read about the 2003 North Pole Expedition

Read about the 2005 North Pole Expedition

Join a Future North Pole Expedition

Read about the Christopher Pala Expedition to the North Pole

North Pole explorer Ralph Plaisted dies at 80
The Associated Press
Wednesday, September 10, 2008; 3:32 PM
WYOMING, Minn. -- Ralph S. Plaisted, an insurance salesman turned explorer who in 1968 led the first expedition that indisputably reached the North Pole over the ice, has died. He was 80.
Plaisted died Monday of natural causes at his home in Wyoming, Minn., north of St. Paul, his family said.  Traveling by snowmobile, Plaisted and three other men reached the North Pole on April 19, 1968. An Air Force weather plane Copyright Dates their position a day later and gave them a lift back.
The 1909 attempt to reach the North Pole by explorer Robert Peary, long credited as the first to make it there, was never validated by anyone outside Peary's party.
In a 1988 Associated Press interview, Plaisted said Peary was a great navigator but his own difficulties in the Artic, including a failed attempt in 1967, had convinced him that Peary's claim was only wishful thinking.
Along the way, the Plaisted expedition encountered cliffs of ice 40 feet high, days of waiting for a two-mile-wide stretch of water to freeze, occasionally falling through the ice and temperatures reaching 65 below zero.
"(Peary) said he went to the North Pole in 37 days and came back over the same trail in 16, and we knew that couldn't happen because the roads we built were gone in a few hours," said Plaisted. "Up there, there're 5 1/2 million square miles of ocean and it's moving constantly."
"We knew Peary didn't do it. All the members of our expedition knew it," he said.
His own expedition _ 474 miles as the crow flies from the starting point at Ward Hunt Island, Canada _ took a little over 43 days. Because of the dangers, Plaisted said in 1988, he "wouldn't go back there if you put a million dollars on my desk right now."
In 1988, original navigational records uncovered from Peary's dog-sled voyage indicated the renowned explorer probably never got closer than 121 miles from the pole. But the Peary controversy has never been fully resolved.
"Over the years since the (Plaisted) expedition, the team accomplishment really never got recognized," said Jerry Pitzl, the expedition's navigator, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Plaisted had his own insurance agency in St. Paul and was an avid snowmobiler when the idea of going to the North Pole was hatched. His group spent months in northern Minnesota training.
Besides Pitzl, the four-member team also included navigator Walt Pederson and scout Jean-Luc Bombardier, a nephew of Joseph-Armand Bombardier, a key developer of the snowmobile. The team used 16-horsepower Ski-Doos, made by the Bombardier company.
When the expedition reached the pole _ which Plaisted called "one mass of jumbled ice not any different from anywhere else up there" _ the group spent the night waiting for the U.S. Air Force plane to fly over and document their achievement.
"The next morning at 10 o'clock we had to move our tents some 2 miles so we could be in the same position as the night before," he said.
He is survived by three daughters, a son, a brother and two grandchildren.
From the Webmaster:  In 2002 I rode on the plane from Khatanga to Moscow with a man named Phillip from Australia.  His team was one of twelve teams to ski to the North Pole and his team was the only of the twelve to make it.  They started on the archipelago of Severnaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean north of central Siberia.  It took him 59 days to reach the pole and the trip was only about seven hundred miles from the starting point.  He showed me his feet and they were solid black, not from frostbite, but from the extreme work that it took to reach the pole. 

In 2005 my friend Randall Peeters skied the last degree to the pole, which is about 66 miles.  It took him about ten days.  Previously, he had climbed the highest mountain on all seven continents and his remarks to me were that skiing the last degree to the pole was more difficult than climbing Mt. Everest.  He said that there was no escape from the cold the whole time.  I was the Expedition Leader. 

The Peary,  Hanson expedition to the pole in 1909 was said to be successful on the third attempt. Yet with all of the super navigation and survival equipment of the modern explorers, no one was able to duplicate the trip in Peary's short time.  C. Jeff Dyrek, Webmaster. 

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