Yusuke Kakuhata and Yasunaga Ogita in the high Canadian Arctic.
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita

courtesy Yasunaga Ogita

courtesy Yasunaga Ogita
Japanese expedition retraced doomed Northwest Passage Franklin expedition

Posted: May 22, 2011 09:16 pm EDT
(NewsDesk) Yasunaga Ogita and Yusuke Kakuhata have finished an unassisted, unsupported expedition in the high Canadian Arctic. They have traveled 1046 km in 60 days from Resolute Bay to Gjoa Haven, they told ExplorersWeb, without resupplies or kite support; retracing the 1845 Franklin expedition.

The route

On March 15 the team left Resolute Bay with their sleds. Their route was from Resolute down to Peel Sound and going round King William Island to the west coast from Cape Felix and the Northern Cape of K.W.I, Victory Strait, where Franklins two boats with the surviving members became icebound, Erebus Bay, Terror Bay, Washington Bay, Starvation Cove, and Todd Island, from where they travelled to Gjoa Haven.

From ice to summer tundra

Yasunaga told ExplorersWeb they came in contact with 5 polar bears and one bear touched their tent midnight one evening.

The two men are currently staying in Gjoa Haven for a few days, where they are eating, sleeping and going for easy walks in the neighborhood, they say in their blog.

Their plan is to set off again on May 24 on a second expedition; heading off from Gjoa Haven to Baker Lake on summer tundra; according to their blog, a 600 km stretch. The first half they intend to pull sleds and then switch over to backpacks.

Yasunaga Ogita (33) has done a solo expedition to the 1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole in 2010. His team mate, Yusuke Kakuhata (35) is a writer.

In 1845 Sir John Franklin departed England on a doomed voyage meant to traverse the last unnavigated section of the Northwest Passage. His two boats became ice bound in Victoria Strait near King William Island and Franklin and his 128 men were lost.


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