You also need to know when to go. The two-month window between March and May is your best bet. If you make the trip before March, don't expect a lot of sightseeing, because it will be dark the entire time -- not to mention a lot colder. But if you go much later than May, you'll encounter melting conditions. There isn't any actual land underneath the North Pole, so you probably shouldn't attempt that unless you feel like swimming in the Arctic Ocean.
Now that you have the time, you'll need a place to begin your journey. If you're coming from the Canadian side, Resolute Bay is where you'll start. From there, you'll take a four-hour ride in a small plane, after which you'll refuel and fly the rest of the way to your jumping-off place, Ward Hunt Island. (If you're starting from Russia, you'll leave from Severnaya Zemlya, Siberia.)
National Geographic describes a land-based journey from Ward Hunt Island:
Time frames for North Pole trips vary, depending on your mode of transportation. If you take a dog-sledding or skiing trip to the North Pole with Polar Adventures, for example, expect a weeklong training camp and a two- to three-week trek. (There are also three-day excursions, which basically deliver you to the Pole for skiing or sledding.) The cost for a dogsled trek can top $50,000 [source: Polar Adventures].
And don't forget, when you finally reach the Pole, you'll probably want a ride home instead of turning around to make the trek back. Many packages include a ride back to your jumping-off point.
For more information about expeditions to the North Pole, take a look at the links below.
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More Great Links
- Adventure Ecology. http://www.adventureecology.com/mission1/arctic_timeline.php
- Arctic Studies Center. http://www.mnh.si.edu/arctic/html/walrus.html
- Black America Web. http://www.blackamericaweb.com/site.aspx/headlines/hillary507
- Bremner, Charles. "North Pole explorer 'may have faked death'" Times Online (London), Oct. 15, 2004.
- Census of Marine Life's Arctic Ocean Diversity. http://www.coml.org/descrip/aobio.htm
- Connors, Martha Schindler. Runner's World April 2004 "Snow Blind: Mark Pollock can't see, but that won't stop him from running 26.2 at the North Pole." http://www.martha-connors.com/s_f.html
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Arctic_Tern.html
- Druzin, Randi. "All-Female Group Undertakes Polar Trek." The New York Times, April 6, 1997.
- Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA). http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/scienceques2005/20060310.htm
- Hannah McKeand. http://www.adventurehannah.com/
- Hartston, William. "Ten Things You Never Knew About … The North Pole." The Express, April 20, 2004.
- Henderson, Mark. "Walking fish lends a hand on evolutionary missing link." The Australian. April 7, 2006.
- History of Santa Claus. http://www.the-north-pole.com/history/index.htm
- Holley, David. "Russians Ready Landmark Polar Seabed Expedition." Los Angeles Times, Aug. 1, 2007.
- Lamb, Gregory M. "An icy plunge to save the melting Arctic." The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 10, 2008.
- Leapman, Ben. "Denmark joins race to claim North Pole." Sunday Telegraph, Aug. 14, 2007.
- McArthur, Greg. "Explorer begins trek to North Pole; British adventurer sets off from northern tip of Ellesmere Island to become the first woman to ski to the pole alone." The Globe and Mail, March 10, 2008.
- McVitie's Penguin Polar Relay 1997. http://www.stuff.co.uk/media/polar-relay/index.html
- Miller, Robert J. "Finders Keepers In the Arctic?" Los Angeles Times, Aug. 7, 2007.
- Natural Resources Canada (Polar Continental Shelf Project. http://polar.nrcan.gc.ca/about/bases_e.php
- National Geophysical Data Center. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/seg/geomag/faqgeom.shtml
- Natural Resources Canada. http://gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/geomag/nmp/northpole_e.php
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Arctic theme page). http://www.arctic.noaa.gov
- National Women's Hall of Fame (Ann Bancroft). http://www.greatwomen.org
- North Pole Classic Expedition 2006. http://www.northpoleclassic.com/
- "North pole contest next for self-confessed 'nutter' Charles." Bath Chronicle, March 13, 2008.
- "North Pole." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
- North Pole Marathon. http://www.npmarathon.com/
- "ocean." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
- "polar ecosystem." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
- Polar Cruises. http://www.polarcruises.com
- Polar Adventures. http://polarexplorers.com/
- Poseidon Arctic Voyages: North Pole Expedition Prices for 2008. http://northpolevoyages.com/north_pole/prices/2008.php
- Rosenblatt, Susannah. "North Pole Race Puts Runners on Top of the World." Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2006.
- Smith, Donald. "Tis the season for north pole hikes." National Geographic News, April 6, 2000.
- Struck, Doug. "Adventurers Conquer Arctic, and History Team Guided by U.S. Woman Vindicates Peary by Beating His Time to North Pole." The Washington Post, April 27, 2005.
- Tom Avery.http://www.tomavery.net/
- "The North Pole could be ice-free by 2040." Birmingham Post, Dec. 13, 2006.
- The United Nations Oceans and Law of the Sea. http://www.un.org/Depts/los/index.htm
- Universal Time. http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/UT
- Wilderness Survival. http://www.wilderness-survival.net/cold-11.php