Peary Centennial
Peary Centennial North Pole Expedition is a go!
24 February 2009 | Grand Marais, MN
Peary Centennial North Pole Expedition is a go!

Launches March 2nd from Ward Hunt Island, Canada

Grand Marais, Minn., Feb. 26 - On March 2, PolarExplorers, a Chicago-based polar expedition outfitter and veteran polar explorer Lonnie Dupre unite to create the "Peary Centennial North Pole Expedition" a 600-mile ski journey from Ward Hunt Island, Canada to the North Pole in the footsteps of Robert E. Peary. The team, consisting of Maxime Chaya of Beirut, Lebanon, Stuart Smith of Waco, Texas, led by Dupre of Grand Marais, Minn., expects -60F temperatures during the first two weeks and will encounter highly fractured sea ice pressured skyward for the first 200 miles of their journey. To navigate this maze of car-size ice blocks, the team will pull custom 5-foot long Kevlar sleds specifically designed for rough ice. Team members will consume 7,000 calories per day to maintain sufficient energy levels to pull 150-pound sleds and to ward off the extreme cold.

Nearly 100 years ago, Peary and Matthew A. Henson, along with a team of Inuit, became the first men to reach the North Pole. Peary and his entourage of 23 men and 133 dogs set off from Ellesmere Island on a bitterly cold March 1, 1909. As they traveled north, they lightened their loads and reduced the size of their party. Only six men, Peary, Henson, and four Polar Inuit, Oatah, Egingwah, Seegloo, and Ookeah, were left to set foot on the Pole on April 6, 1909. For 80 years, skeptics disputed the claim, and although the Navigation Foundation upheld it in 1989, the controversy remains.

The Peary Centennial North Pole Expedition has two purposes. The first is to encourage and engage governmental policy for the foundation of an International Arctic Treaty.

"Time is very short," said Dupre. "These Arctic states need, while the sea ice is still capable of protecting this great and delicate eco-system, to come together in a treaty as stewards for all mankind in the protection of the indigenous peoples and marine animals living within the Arctic Circle."

The second is to develop the 'Cool - Not Cool' campaign, illustrating via images the link between global warming, excesses in the lifestyles of developed countries and poor energy policies. The 'Cool - Not Cool' campaign will be integrated into the expedition websites, e-newsletters, pre-and post-expedition multimedia presentations and a proposed book and film.

PolarExplorers is the premier polar outfitting, services and guiding company, helping individuals from around the world achieve their dreams of standing at the North or South Pole, or exploring other destinations in the high Arctic or Antarctic. They have been handling logistics and guiding polar expeditions for over 15 years. PolarExplorers is the polar division of The Northwest Passage, an adventure travel company founded in 1984. They can be reached at 800-732-7328 or 847-256-4409, or by email at

The Expedition is sponsored by PrimaLoft®. PrimaLoft insulation products offer superior performance for high quality cold-weather gear. PrimaLoft is lightweight, breathable with excellent water repellency for dry, warm and comfortable travel even under the most extreme conditions. PrimaLoft is Dupre's insulation of choice for all his expeditions' sleeping bags, parkas, pants, vests and footwear, and gloves. To learn more about PrimaLoft visit

The expedition will utilize a sophisticated communication network and on-trail equipment to engage the imaginations of people via the expedition websites at and The website will provide daily reports of the team's progress through images, journal entries, audio updates and a map marking the team's progress. The project's story will also be told through the production of a film and photographic narrative.

For more information, contact Lonnie Dupre or Annie Aggens, above, or go to or