20 May 2011

1986 Steger North Pole Expedition Reunion

[caption id="attachment_61" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="1986 Steger North Pole Expedition"][/caption] Twenty-five years have flown by since the six of us stood on the North Pole on May 1st, 1986. This week all eight of us met in Minneapolis for the first time since the expedition. It was wonderful to see not only our polar team but also all the volunteers and support crew that were so critical in making that expedition a success. In particular Mary O’Donnell, Indra and Gaile Antanaitis and Jim Gasperini who volunteered for many months so that we could trek to the Pole. No one has really changed, we are all just a little greyer. It was inspiring to see what this group of motley penniless group has accomplished since that expedition launched our careers. It was inspiring to learn what they have accomplished. Will Steger is now a well known international explorer. More important he has used his international profile to set up a foundation to promote climate change issues and solutions. He is actively trying to influence policy change in the mid-west. His home is still a 500 square foot cabin with no electricity (except a little solar and wind) . Will is someone really trying to make a difference. He says that his still has one more good expedition in him!  http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/ Paul (& Sue) Schurke operate a successful dog sledding business in Ely. They recently sold a successful clothing company born from the expedition. Paul still leads trips in arctic regions all over the world, including the North Pole. http://ww.dogsledding.com Ann Bancroft, always the teacher, has completed a number of polar expeditions each with a major educational component. Her next Antarctic project for 2012 will engage and inspire 50 million school children from all over the world. http://www.annbancroftfoundation.org/ Brent Boddy recently retired from his position in the Nunavut Government. He lives in the Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. He now has time to undertake some new non-mechanized expeditions. His passion is sailing and kite-skiing. Geoff Carroll is a wildlife biologist in Barrow Alaska. He job is to monitor, plan and defend caribou, moose, grizzly bear and muskox on the North Slope of Alaska. Bob McKerrow is an author and humanitarian working with the Red Cross in Asia. He works in the world’s hot spot and disaster zones (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sira Lanka) helping the poor, the down trodden and the unlucky (victims of the 2008 Tsunami) http://bobmckerrow.blogspot.com/