TORONTO – Five explorers using huskies and wooden sleds reached the North Pole on Tuesday, setting a world record by coming in several hours earlier than a 37-day trek by American explorer Robert E. Peary for the same journey in 1909, the expedition team said.
British explorer Tom Avery had set out to prove that it was possible to make the 475-mile trip from Cape Columbia in northern Nunavut, the Inuit territory of Canada, in the time claimed by Peary.
The team of four men and an American woman, Mattie McNair – leading the chief sled dog Raven – was even faster in the end, claiming to set a world record by arriving 4 hours and 49 minutes ahead of Peary’s pace.
For decades, skeptics said Peary, who traveled with fellow American Matthew Henson and four Inuit men, could not have made the trip in only 37 days. The fastest journey that anyone had managed since Peary’s day was by a Canadian team in 2000, which reached the Pole after 43 days.
Avery’s team traveled in a similar style to Peary, using Inuit huskies and replica wooden sleds.
“We have always believed that Peary was one of the greatest explorers of all time and hopefully our recreation of his journey will silence anyone who doubted this and put the controversy to rest once and for all,” Avery said.