Expedition to the North Pole from March to April 1986

Goals : To reach the geographic North Pole alone, on skis, with a sledge and a few supply points for food and dry clothes.

Left March 6th from Ward Hunt Island, in the extreme north of Canada, Jean-Louis Etienne arrives on the axis of rotation of the Earth (the geographic North Pole) May 14th, 1986. 63 days of walking and more than 1 000 km, traveled at an average of 20 km per day. Every day, he walks 8 hours in a row without being able to stop for lunch because of the cold weather. During the day, he feeds himself eating nibbles and dried fruits. Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, he climbs the tent in a flat place, if possible sheltered from the wind. After a well deserved hot snack and a little rest, he communicates by radio and receives his position. Then it’s dinner time, then a restful night to face the next day. Apart from a few bear tracks, he will make only one encounter during his trip. On April 9th, he finds, by a complete coincidence, Will Steger and his crew, who goes to the pole with dog teams.

Book : Le marcheur du Pôle – Ed. Robert Laffont
Film : Papy Pôle – by Laurent Chevallier