In March of 1986 the Steger International Polar Expedition, featuring Minnesotans Will Steger, Ann Bancroft and Paul Schurke, set out by dogsled to reach the North Pole. In a deliberate throwback to earlier explorers, they sought to complete the journey without resupply. They would be entirely reliant on the three tons of supplies they brought with them; there would be no airlifts with rested dogs, new equipment, or extra food and fuel. Fifty-five days and a thousand miles later, after enduring -70°F temperatures and crossing the Arctic Ocean as it began to break apart with the coming of spring, six team members completed the journey, making Steger only the fourth man known to have reached the North Pole, and Bancroft the first woman to have achieved that goal. The story of their trek forever transformed human perceptions of the Arctic from frozen wasteland to a living and changing part of the Earth.
The History Center honors the explorers who made this historic journey with two events in partnership with the Will Steger Foundation and Consular General of Canada in Minneapolis.
North Pole Reunion Family Day
Sunday, May 15, 12 to 4 p.m.
Included with museum admission
On May 1, 1986 the expedition reached the “point around which the world spins,” the North Pole. Bring your family and experience the challenge of their historic journey.
• Experience an Arctic base camp and meet a sled dog
• Dress for an Expedition
• Learn how climate change is affecting the Arctic through hands-on activities
• Play the calorie consumption game
• Guess Arctic trivia and win prizes
• Create a Northern Lights picture and make Expedition Sun Goggles
• See North Pole expedition footage
• Book signing with Will Steger and team members
• Enjoy music with Minnesota singer/songwriter Ann Reed
• Visit resource tables and learn how to get outdoors and address climate change
North Pole '86 Expedition: 25th Anniversary Celebration
Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m.
Reservations required; call 651-259-3015 until 4 p.m. the day of the program. Tickets will be available at the door. $12 adults ($10 MHS members); $5 college students w/ID and children age 9-17.
On the 25th anniversary of their historic 1986 expedition to the North Pole, join Minnesotans Will Steger, Paul Schurke, Ann Bancroft and other members of the original team as they recall the trials and triumphs of that landmark journey, reveal the dramatic ways the Arctic has changed over the past 25 years, and share their unique perspectives the future of the North Pole.