North Pole

Brien Sheedy has led an expedition to the North Pole—geodetic coordinates: 90° N, 0° W. Starting on April 15, Whitman’s Director of Outdoor Programs spent 10 days on the shifting sea ice skiing the last degree of latitude to the intersection of the Earth’s axis and the Earth’s surface. For Sheedy, the trek was the final leg of “The Explorers Grand Slam,” which entails climbing the highest peak on every continent and then skiing to both the North and South Poles. “At the North Pole you are standing on the polar ice pack which is floating and affected by winds and currents, so it is moving,” Sheedy said. “We were drifting pretty fast and we set up camp right at the pole and an hour later we had drifted four tenths of a mile away from the pole.” The North Pole sits in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, on water that is almost always covered with ice. The ice is about six to 10 feet thick. The depth of the ocean at the North Pole is more than 13,123 feet.