Baker & Taylor A polar explorer describes his efforts to recreate Robert Peary's 1909 dogsled journey to the North Pole, describing the hardships and dangers he and his team faced and comparing their modern journey to Peary's trip one hundred years ago.
April 2009 is the one-hundredth anniversary of perhaps the greatest controversy in the history of exploration. Did U.S. Naval Commander Robert Peary and his team dogsled to the North Pole in thirty-seven days in 1909? Or, as has been challenged, was this speed impossible, and was he a cheat? In 2005, polar explorer Tom Avery and his team set out to recreate this 100-year-old journey, using the same equipment as Peary, to prove that Peary had indeed done what he had claimed and discovered the North Pole. Navigating treacherous pressure ridges, deadly channels of open water, bitterly cold temperatures, and traveling in a similar style to Peary’s with dog teams and replica wooden sledges bound together with cord, Avery tells the story of how his team covered 413 nautical miles to the North Pole in thirty-six days and twenty-two hours—some four hours faster than Peary. Weaving fascinating polar exploration history with thrilling extreme adventure, this is Avery’s story of how he and his team nearly gave their lives proving Peary told the truth.