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Arctic adventurers recreate trek to Rae Strait

The Arctic Return Expedition is all systems go. A reconfigured four-man team will set out March 25, 2019 to recreate the most successful Arctic overland expedition of the 19th century. On his 1854 surveying adventure, accompanied by an Inuk and an Ojibway, Orcadian explorer John Rae discovered both the terrible fate of the lost Franklin expedition and the final link in the first navigable Northwest Passage.
Next March, veteran polar adventurer David Reid will lead an outstanding team in traveling 650 km overland from Naujaat (Repulse Bay) to Rae Strait, following in the footsteps of John Rae, William Ouligbuck Jr., and Thomas Mistegan. When personal considerations forced withdrawals, Reid rounded out his team with experienced, highly skilled adventurers.
The party now includes:
 n  Canadian adventurer Frank Wolf, named one of Canada’s top 100 explorers by Canadian Geographic Magazine in 2015. Wolf, the first to canoe across Canada in a single season, also cycled 2,000 km in winter on the Yukon River from Dawson to Nome. He has documented his adventurers in articles and films and recently published his first book, Lines on a Map (Rocky Mountain Books).
  n  Scottish adventurer Richard Smith, PhD, who studied as an astrophysicist, moved into Information Technology, and served with the Royal Marine Commandos and the Special Boat Service. Smith has climbed, trekked or kayaked in Alaska, Greenland, Nepal and the French Alps, and explored the jungles of Belize and the deserts of Oman.
  n  Adventure film-maker Garry Tutte, who created an educational web-series from Mt. Everest, documented a 7000 km car rally from England to Gambia across the Sahara Desert, and travelled from the remote islands of the Philippines to Hong Kong to create an award-winning film. In 2017, Tutte led the media team aboard the Canada C3 expedition as it circumnavigated the country’s 23,000 km coastline from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage.
  n  Reid himself, who lived on Baffin Island for 20 years and has led, organized or participated in more than 300 Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, trips and projects. In that time he has traveled thousands of miles by dog sled, ski, snowmobile, boat, kayak, ship, foot and most recently by bike, becoming the first person to cross Baffin Island by fat-tire bike.
The expedition is hoping to raise funds for the restoration of John Rae's birthplace, the Hall of Clestrain. The flagship sponsor is The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The award-winning travel company Adventure Canada and Canada Goose are also lending major support. For more details check out the expedition website.

Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.