Last night the expedition team visited Matty McNair and her twenty-year-old daughter, Sarah. Matty is the most experienced female polar guide in the world. After working 22 years for Outward Bound, Matty guided the first all-women expedition to the North Pole in 1997, led two ski-all-the-way expeditions to the South Pole in 2002 and 2003, kite-skied un-resupplied to the South Pole with her kids Sarah and Eric in 2004 (they kite-skied back in a world-record breaking 17 days), and guided a 2005 British dog-team expedition to the North Pole, retracing Peary’s 1909 route (and beating his time by five days; a feat considered by some to be impossible).
Now Matty lives in Iqaluit and runs a polar expedition training school and the Sony Polar Challenge, a competitive team race to the magnetic North Pole. Matty and Sarah spent the evening going over maps and sharing local information with the expedition team.
The Global Warming 101 team will stake our dogs next to Matty’s on the sea ice in front of Matty’s house. We are also hoping Sarah might join the Global Warming 101 expedition for one section. Sarah has a busy schedule as a polar guide and is preparing to traverse Greenland in May with her brother, Eric, but is trying to arrange her schedule so she can join us. Sarah is a film producer whose footage has appeared on the Discovery Channel and been sold to other film producers.
The expedition team appreciates Matty’s and Sarah’s warm welcome. Their house is a regular stop for polar explorers on their way north and it is fun to spend time with them.