Jim McNeil is a polar explorer with 26 years’ experience of Arctic travel. Here he shares some information about the elusive Northern Pole of Inaccessibility, also known as the Arctic Pole.
Where is the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility?
I worked with NASA-backed NSIDC scientists in 2005 to verify the actual position of the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility.
Using GPS and satellite technology, and a technique originally established by Sir Hubert Wilkins when he wanted to traverse the Arctic Ocean for the first time in an aircraft in 1927-28, we calculated a new location.
This position is some 200km different from the original one and has recently been ratified by scientists at the Scott Polar Research Institute. I will announce it officially soon.
Has anyone been there?
I have done extensive research about whether anyone has visited the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility and these are my findings:
- Rumours of a Russian ice breaker in the late fifties – but I cannot get any verification of this.
- Russian scientists walking through the pole from one station to another – but, again, I cannot verify this despite talking to one of the participants.
- Wally Herbert reaching it in 1968 – by his own account he didn’t make it due to ice flowing away from the pole (so whoever whoever wrote the Wikipedia article is wrong!)
Therefore I cannot find anyone who has reached the original position of the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility.
In conclusion, we have a genuine North Pole which has not been reached and therefore arguably constitutes the last significant world first in the polar regions.
Read more at www.ice-warrior.com