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John Huston Sets Out for North Pole

Cold weather adventurer on quest to become first American to ski unsupported to the North Pole.

Pulling 270-pound sleds, John Huston (WCAS99), founder of Northwestern's Project Wildcat, and his expedition partner Tyler Fish set out from Ward Hunt Island, the northernmost point in North America, on March 2 in their quest to become the first Americans to ski unsupported to the North Pole.

The trek across the frozen Arctic Ocean will end in late April. Huston and Fish, both experienced cold weather adventurers, will travel an estimated nine to 10 hours a day in limited sunlight while enduring temperatures that could dip to 50 below zero. If they cannot ski around open water, Huston and Fish will swim between ice floes in dry suits while towing their floatable sleds.

Their supplies include two satellite phones, to send text messages, short e-mails and small photos, and food for 55 days. Huston and Fish will eat more than 7,000 calories a day, mainly in nuts, bacon, butter and pemmican — a mix of dried meat, fat, fruit, veggies and spices. Huston also packed a single malt scotch as a treat.

Read more about the Victorinox North Pole 09 Expedition. See Northwestern magazine's video interview with Huston and read his personal essay in "Climate Change from a Polar Explorer's Perspective," and read the magazine's profile on Huston in "Cold Fires Up Arctic Adventurer".

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Closeup - Huston Dogs
Project Wildcat founder John Huston, pictured above in Ely, Minn., is skiing across the Arctic Ocean with his expedition partner Tyler Fish in their quest to become the first Americans to ski unsupported to the North Pole.Courtesy of
John Huston and Tyler Fish
John Huston, left, and Tyler Fish in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada.Courtesy of John Huston