WEFOUNDTo the North Pole - A Selection of Classic Articles on Explorers and Expeditions to the North Pole


In the past, that is what the area looked like, even in summer. The first explorers that tried to reach the Pole traveled by dogsled in the early 20th century. But the next explorers to reach that iconic point on the globe may arrive in a sailboat.

The sea ice that covers the top of the world is always shifting — it gets carried by currents, cracks apart, and freezes again. There's no land below the ice to anchor it like there is in Antarctica. But satellite ice measurements suggest that since July 1979 — the first year such records were kept — the Arctic has lost an average of 28,000 square miles of ice each year , or 7.4% of the region per decade. And that loss is accelerating.

Until recently, overland treks to the North Pole were possible, though attempts by early adventurers were sometimes foiled when massive islands of ice split apart and they had to wait for passages to refreeze. In 2014, a group of  polar explorers skied, floated, and swam their way to the Pole, towing 317-pound floating sleds.

The North Pole , also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole , is (subject to the caveats explained below) defined as the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface.

The North Pole is the northernmost point on the Earth, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole . It defines geodetic latitude 90° North, as well as the direction of true north . At the North Pole all directions point south; all lines of longitude converge there, so its longitude can be defined as any degree value. Along tight latitude circles, counterclockwise is east and clockwise is west. The North Pole is at the center of the Northern Hemisphere.

The sea depth at the North Pole has been measured at 4,261 m (13,980 ft) by the Russian Mir submersible in 2007 [3] and at 4,087 m (13,410 ft) by USS Nautilus in 1958. [4] [5] The nearest land is usually said to be Kaffeklubben Island , off the northern coast of Greenland about 700 km (430 mi) away, though some perhaps semi permanent gravel banks lie slightly closer. The nearest permanently inhabited place is Alert in the Qikiqtaaluk Region , Nunavut, Canada, which is located 817 km (508 mi) from the Pole.

An article on March 20 about a 1968 North Pole expedition referred incorrectly to newspapers in Minneapolis in 1966. The city had two papers, the morning Minneapolis Tribune and the evening Minneapolis Star; there was no paper named The Minneapolis Star Tribune at the time. (The papers merged in 1982.)

Guy Lawson is the author of ‘‘Arms and the Dudes.’’ ‘‘War Dogs,’’ a feature film based on his reporting, will be released in August.

Thousands of reindeer from several different locations around the globe are starting to make their way to the North Pole. Experts at the North Pole say the reindeer population will more than triple in the next few days. Here is where they are located:

These are specially raised reindeer who are trained to work in various capacities in support of Santa’s flight. They may not fly Santa himself but they certainly fly FOR Santa.

The North Pole is working on the flight plans of thousands of sleighs. But none of those plans will do any good without reindeer to power them.

In the past, that is what the area looked like, even in summer. The first explorers that tried to reach the Pole traveled by dogsled in the early 20th century. But the next explorers to reach that iconic point on the globe may arrive in a sailboat.

The sea ice that covers the top of the world is always shifting — it gets carried by currents, cracks apart, and freezes again. There's no land below the ice to anchor it like there is in Antarctica. But satellite ice measurements suggest that since July 1979 — the first year such records were kept — the Arctic has lost an average of 28,000 square miles of ice each year , or 7.4% of the region per decade. And that loss is accelerating.

Until recently, overland treks to the North Pole were possible, though attempts by early adventurers were sometimes foiled when massive islands of ice split apart and they had to wait for passages to refreeze. In 2014, a group of  polar explorers skied, floated, and swam their way to the Pole, towing 317-pound floating sleds.

The North Pole , also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole , is (subject to the caveats explained below) defined as the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface.

The North Pole is the northernmost point on the Earth, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole . It defines geodetic latitude 90° North, as well as the direction of true north . At the North Pole all directions point south; all lines of longitude converge there, so its longitude can be defined as any degree value. Along tight latitude circles, counterclockwise is east and clockwise is west. The North Pole is at the center of the Northern Hemisphere.

The sea depth at the North Pole has been measured at 4,261 m (13,980 ft) by the Russian Mir submersible in 2007 [3] and at 4,087 m (13,410 ft) by USS Nautilus in 1958. [4] [5] The nearest land is usually said to be Kaffeklubben Island , off the northern coast of Greenland about 700 km (430 mi) away, though some perhaps semi permanent gravel banks lie slightly closer. The nearest permanently inhabited place is Alert in the Qikiqtaaluk Region , Nunavut, Canada, which is located 817 km (508 mi) from the Pole.

An article on March 20 about a 1968 North Pole expedition referred incorrectly to newspapers in Minneapolis in 1966. The city had two papers, the morning Minneapolis Tribune and the evening Minneapolis Star; there was no paper named The Minneapolis Star Tribune at the time. (The papers merged in 1982.)

Guy Lawson is the author of ‘‘Arms and the Dudes.’’ ‘‘War Dogs,’’ a feature film based on his reporting, will be released in August.

In the past, that is what the area looked like, even in summer. The first explorers that tried to reach the Pole traveled by dogsled in the early 20th century. But the next explorers to reach that iconic point on the globe may arrive in a sailboat.

The sea ice that covers the top of the world is always shifting — it gets carried by currents, cracks apart, and freezes again. There's no land below the ice to anchor it like there is in Antarctica. But satellite ice measurements suggest that since July 1979 — the first year such records were kept — the Arctic has lost an average of 28,000 square miles of ice each year , or 7.4% of the region per decade. And that loss is accelerating.

Until recently, overland treks to the North Pole were possible, though attempts by early adventurers were sometimes foiled when massive islands of ice split apart and they had to wait for passages to refreeze. In 2014, a group of  polar explorers skied, floated, and swam their way to the Pole, towing 317-pound floating sleds.

The North Pole , also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole , is (subject to the caveats explained below) defined as the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface.

The North Pole is the northernmost point on the Earth, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole . It defines geodetic latitude 90° North, as well as the direction of true north . At the North Pole all directions point south; all lines of longitude converge there, so its longitude can be defined as any degree value. Along tight latitude circles, counterclockwise is east and clockwise is west. The North Pole is at the center of the Northern Hemisphere.

The sea depth at the North Pole has been measured at 4,261 m (13,980 ft) by the Russian Mir submersible in 2007 [3] and at 4,087 m (13,410 ft) by USS Nautilus in 1958. [4] [5] The nearest land is usually said to be Kaffeklubben Island , off the northern coast of Greenland about 700 km (430 mi) away, though some perhaps semi permanent gravel banks lie slightly closer. The nearest permanently inhabited place is Alert in the Qikiqtaaluk Region , Nunavut, Canada, which is located 817 km (508 mi) from the Pole.

In the past, that is what the area looked like, even in summer. The first explorers that tried to reach the Pole traveled by dogsled in the early 20th century. But the next explorers to reach that iconic point on the globe may arrive in a sailboat.

The sea ice that covers the top of the world is always shifting — it gets carried by currents, cracks apart, and freezes again. There's no land below the ice to anchor it like there is in Antarctica. But satellite ice measurements suggest that since July 1979 — the first year such records were kept — the Arctic has lost an average of 28,000 square miles of ice each year , or 7.4% of the region per decade. And that loss is accelerating.

Until recently, overland treks to the North Pole were possible, though attempts by early adventurers were sometimes foiled when massive islands of ice split apart and they had to wait for passages to refreeze. In 2014, a group of  polar explorers skied, floated, and swam their way to the Pole, towing 317-pound floating sleds.

The North Pole , also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole , is (subject to the caveats explained below) defined as the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface.

The North Pole is the northernmost point on the Earth, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole . It defines geodetic latitude 90° North, as well as the direction of true north . At the North Pole all directions point south; all lines of longitude converge there, so its longitude can be defined as any degree value. Along tight latitude circles, counterclockwise is east and clockwise is west. The North Pole is at the center of the Northern Hemisphere.

The sea depth at the North Pole has been measured at 4,261 m (13,980 ft) by the Russian Mir submersible in 2007 [3] and at 4,087 m (13,410 ft) by USS Nautilus in 1958. [4] [5] The nearest land is usually said to be Kaffeklubben Island , off the northern coast of Greenland about 700 km (430 mi) away, though some perhaps semi permanent gravel banks lie slightly closer. The nearest permanently inhabited place is Alert in the Qikiqtaaluk Region , Nunavut, Canada, which is located 817 km (508 mi) from the Pole.

An article on March 20 about a 1968 North Pole expedition referred incorrectly to newspapers in Minneapolis in 1966. The city had two papers, the morning Minneapolis Tribune and the evening Minneapolis Star; there was no paper named The Minneapolis Star Tribune at the time. (The papers merged in 1982.)

Guy Lawson is the author of ‘‘Arms and the Dudes.’’ ‘‘War Dogs,’’ a feature film based on his reporting, will be released in August.

Thousands of reindeer from several different locations around the globe are starting to make their way to the North Pole. Experts at the North Pole say the reindeer population will more than triple in the next few days. Here is where they are located:

These are specially raised reindeer who are trained to work in various capacities in support of Santa’s flight. They may not fly Santa himself but they certainly fly FOR Santa.

The North Pole is working on the flight plans of thousands of sleighs. But none of those plans will do any good without reindeer to power them.

This is the North Pole’s working website. Santa has elves working in different roles all over the world. They come to this website to check in on the news at home, to get work assignments from the North Pole, and to report on their efforts for Santa. This is where the elf community gathers online!

Reindeer Flight Instructor
Eggnog Brewmaster
North Pole Post Office, Sorter (Dutch Language)
Tracking Center, IT Elf 3rd Class
Workshop, Stocking Stuffer
Sleighmaster
Web Department, Graphics
Launch Technican, Snow Removal

In the past, that is what the area looked like, even in summer. The first explorers that tried to reach the Pole traveled by dogsled in the early 20th century. But the next explorers to reach that iconic point on the globe may arrive in a sailboat.

The sea ice that covers the top of the world is always shifting — it gets carried by currents, cracks apart, and freezes again. There's no land below the ice to anchor it like there is in Antarctica. But satellite ice measurements suggest that since July 1979 — the first year such records were kept — the Arctic has lost an average of 28,000 square miles of ice each year , or 7.4% of the region per decade. And that loss is accelerating.

Until recently, overland treks to the North Pole were possible, though attempts by early adventurers were sometimes foiled when massive islands of ice split apart and they had to wait for passages to refreeze. In 2014, a group of  polar explorers skied, floated, and swam their way to the Pole, towing 317-pound floating sleds.

In the past, that is what the area looked like, even in summer. The first explorers that tried to reach the Pole traveled by dogsled in the early 20th century. But the next explorers to reach that iconic point on the globe may arrive in a sailboat.

The sea ice that covers the top of the world is always shifting — it gets carried by currents, cracks apart, and freezes again. There's no land below the ice to anchor it like there is in Antarctica. But satellite ice measurements suggest that since July 1979 — the first year such records were kept — the Arctic has lost an average of 28,000 square miles of ice each year , or 7.4% of the region per decade. And that loss is accelerating.

Until recently, overland treks to the North Pole were possible, though attempts by early adventurers were sometimes foiled when massive islands of ice split apart and they had to wait for passages to refreeze. In 2014, a group of  polar explorers skied, floated, and swam their way to the Pole, towing 317-pound floating sleds.

The North Pole , also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole , is (subject to the caveats explained below) defined as the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface.

The North Pole is the northernmost point on the Earth, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole . It defines geodetic latitude 90° North, as well as the direction of true north . At the North Pole all directions point south; all lines of longitude converge there, so its longitude can be defined as any degree value. Along tight latitude circles, counterclockwise is east and clockwise is west. The North Pole is at the center of the Northern Hemisphere.

The sea depth at the North Pole has been measured at 4,261 m (13,980 ft) by the Russian Mir submersible in 2007 [3] and at 4,087 m (13,410 ft) by USS Nautilus in 1958. [4] [5] The nearest land is usually said to be Kaffeklubben Island , off the northern coast of Greenland about 700 km (430 mi) away, though some perhaps semi permanent gravel banks lie slightly closer. The nearest permanently inhabited place is Alert in the Qikiqtaaluk Region , Nunavut, Canada, which is located 817 km (508 mi) from the Pole.

An article on March 20 about a 1968 North Pole expedition referred incorrectly to newspapers in Minneapolis in 1966. The city had two papers, the morning Minneapolis Tribune and the evening Minneapolis Star; there was no paper named The Minneapolis Star Tribune at the time. (The papers merged in 1982.)

Guy Lawson is the author of ‘‘Arms and the Dudes.’’ ‘‘War Dogs,’’ a feature film based on his reporting, will be released in August.

Thousands of reindeer from several different locations around the globe are starting to make their way to the North Pole. Experts at the North Pole say the reindeer population will more than triple in the next few days. Here is where they are located:

These are specially raised reindeer who are trained to work in various capacities in support of Santa’s flight. They may not fly Santa himself but they certainly fly FOR Santa.

The North Pole is working on the flight plans of thousands of sleighs. But none of those plans will do any good without reindeer to power them.

This is the North Pole’s working website. Santa has elves working in different roles all over the world. They come to this website to check in on the news at home, to get work assignments from the North Pole, and to report on their efforts for Santa. This is where the elf community gathers online!

Reindeer Flight Instructor
Eggnog Brewmaster
North Pole Post Office, Sorter (Dutch Language)
Tracking Center, IT Elf 3rd Class
Workshop, Stocking Stuffer
Sleighmaster
Web Department, Graphics
Launch Technican, Snow Removal

First, it is worth noting that unlike its southern counterpart, the North Pole does not lie on a land mass but in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. For the most part, it is frozen over and hence, at the right time of year, it is possible to travel there on foot, ski, dog sled or similar.

The question of its location is slightly more complicated than you might assume given that there are a total of four different “North Poles”. Jeremy Clarkson may have been to one of these but he actually finished further south than many North Pole expeditions start.

Put your finger on top of the globe and you will be pointing at the Geographic North Pole. This is the goal that early explorers sought after and is often aptly known as “True North”. This is most often what people are referring to when they walk about the North Pole and is the most commonly visited.


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