North Pole: Martin Murray talks to Exweb/Pythom

Plus, dog Sky’s reaction

Two teams planned to ski to the North Pole this year, but one day out, the men decided to abort their attempts. Sebastian Copeland told us what happened to him and Mark George. Today we hear from Martin Murray, who had Dog Sky with him.

There is no list of “why”, Martin told Exweb/Pythom. “It is simple… I did not feel ready for the expedition and jump on the pickup flight of Sebastian and Mark. The cold was cool, brutal and real. With such hard condition, it makes any decision to quit easier.”

“I cannot say that I will give it another shot; it is too early… but must admit that I am disappointed at this time and will sleep on it for a while.”

Exweb/Pythom: Have you actually travelled a few miles?

Martin: Yes, traveled to the rubble. I saw Sebastian and Mark’s tent, I thought they were hauling stuff across and staged camp. I found out then that Sebastian had frostbite on his hands and they were aborting in the morning. I debated for the remainder of the afternoon about whether to carry on or not because the plane was coming.

You had Sky there, how did he take the conditions?

Martin: Sky was really confused. I wanted to start right away after being dropped off but he was confused and was not pulling at all. It took him part of the next morning to get back to work.

Would you say, having an animal there as your responsibility, adds another dimension to the expedition, more than having a human team mate (who you actually also have to ‘take care of’ on an expedition like that.)

Martin: Yes, working in the rubble proved to be a challenge. There was an open lead at the ice wall approximately 4 inches wide and by the time I had the stuff across, it was 12 inches and Sky was really afraid of that. I had to pull him across because he was fighting me.

You already started later than planned, and then you hit the coldest days ever this season. Then the temps are much warmer. Wasn’t there a chance that you could wait a day or two up there? Or wasn’t that practical?

Martin: We had the flexibility of having a private pilot so I would start later and only get to Resolute couple days before. Once back in Resolute, I thought of going back on the ice just beyond the rubble and decided to come back home after a discussion with my twin brother.

What role plays mental preparation for an expedition like this?

Martin: You really need to want it, and at what comfort cost? There were several factors that started the roller coaster of mental motivation: the delays, the extreme cold, forgetting goggles and ski poles in the plane, the dog not working, and finding out that the first crew was being evacuated. Perhaps the writing was on the wall, and it was in my best interest to take that flight back to Resolute, it is a tricky balance between wanting something so badly and mentally overcoming challenges. You really need to be ready for the expedition.

What would you do different, if/when you get a chance to do it again?

Martin: I would do it with a partner and be better prepared in terms of physical fitness and knowing to expect I would pack loose items in the pulks prior to embark in the plane, that would be helpful, lol.

Thank you. Have a safe journey back home. Give Sky a hug from us.

Martin: We dropped Sky off in Rankin Inlet. He was happy to see John! I’m sure it was a stressful trip for him. And he must have the most air miles of any four-legged athlete!

Martin’s map and website

2017 North Pole maps by Explorers House

Previous 2017 North Pole

North Pole attempt: Sebastian Copeland talks to Exweb/Pythom

2017 North Pole skiers not moving – cancelled expeditions UPDATE

North Pole skiers on the move – UPDATE II – on the ice

North Pole Skiers Dropped, Update: In Eureka

Waiting game in Resolute – North Pole 2017 ski update

Too much weight for North Pole plane – Skiers in Resolute Bay – Updated

North Pole Interview with Sky, the Dog: “Things might get bloody”

North Pole Interview: Martin Murray with dog, Sky

Interview: Sebastian Copeland, North Pole attempt despite grave notes

2017 Ski North Pole Expedition List by Explorersweb/Pythom

Dixie Dansercoer: North Pole Gear and Antarctica kiting

KK6PGW to RW0BG: Messages From Russia (Interview)

2017 Ski North Pole Expedition List by Explorersweb/Pythom

Must-Watch: ’Melting: Last Race to the Pole,’ an Animal Planet show

Sebastian and Mark’s Website and Facebook, & Pythom Profile

Sebastian profile, filmed in Resolute Bay by Uproxx

Martin and Sky’s Website and Facebook

Radio Canada North Pole reports

Follow the teams’ daily updated in the Dispatch Stream on

Note: A North Pole Ski expedition covers the full distance between land (Canada/Russia/Greenland) and the Pole, no flying part/most of the route. The two 2017 teams will start from the egde of Canada: ice-depending, either Ward Hunt Island (775 km) or Cape Discovery (780 km) on Ellesmere Island.The distance from Land to Pole is calculated in a straight line from where the skiers start. What is not added to this distance, are all the detours around high ridges, hummocks, ice blocks, rubble, thin ice, or leads (open water). Also not added are the negative drift and relaying sleds.

#Arctic #northpole #northpoleski2017 #sebastiancopeland #markgeorge #martinmurray