The Globe and Mail recently published an article by Sophie Cousineau about a recent trek I was part of to the North Pole – the following is an exert. You can read the complete article by following the link at the bottom of the blog:
Our plane has just landed on King Christian Island, part of Nunavut’s Sverdrup Islands archipelago, 415 kilometres northwest of Resolute Bay, but we are too busy and frenzied to take in the scenery.
First, we unload the cross-country skis, backpacks and polar-expedition sleds from the Basler, the old, retrofitted DC-3 that flew us here from Resolute—Canada’s northernmost community, after the Nunavut hamlet of Grise Fiord. Then we clumsily set up our tents to shield ourselves from the Arctic wind. And then we wait for the last of the 52 trekkers in our party to be dropped off.
But just as the orange Basler—our last link to civilization—takes off into the immaculate blue sky, the sheer beauty and utter madness of our endeavour hits us like a snowball in the face. We are at the edge of the world, on an endless sea of snow and ice. There is nothing else in sight. And before anyone will fly us out of the ungodly cold that freezes everything it brushes within mere minutes, we will have to tough it out for an entire week.
What were we thinking? No one dares say it aloud—not Power Corp. chairman and co-CEO Paul Desmarais Jr. or former Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan head Jim Leech, not Transcontinental president and CEO François Olivier or veteran financier Tim Hodgson—but the question hangs over our heads like a speech bubble in a comic strip.