List of firsts in the Geographic North Pole

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This is a list of firsts in the Geographic North Pole.

  • First to reach the Geographic North Pole (disputed): there are two claimants, Frederick Cook, and his two Inuit men, Aapilak and Ittukusuk, on April 21, 1908 and Robert Edwin Peary, Matthew Henson and four Inuit women: Ootah, Seegloo, Egingway, and Ooqueah on April 6, 1909. Both are disputed but the Robert Peary expedition is more widely accepted.
  • First to fly over the North Pole (disputed): On May 9, 1926, Americans Richard E. Byrd and pilot Floyd Bennett claimed a successful flight over the North Pole in a Fokker F-VII Tri-motor called the Josephine Ford. Byrd took off from Spitsbergen and returned to the same airfield. His claim, widely accepted at first, has been challenged since.
  • First transpolar flight over the North Pole: On May 12, three days after the Byrd flight, Norwegian Roald Amundsen, his American sponsor Lincoln Ellsworth and the Italian aeronautic engineer Umberto Nobile flew over the Pole in the semi-rigid airship Norge, designed and piloted by Nobile. The total crew was 16 men. The Norge began in Spitsbergen and flew to Alaska.
  • First transpolar flight over the North Pole in an airplane: Valery Chkalov and two others flew a Tupolev ANT-25 on June 18-20, 1937 from Moscow to Vancouver, Washington.[1]
  • First North Pole ice station: North Pole-1 (Soviet Union) was established at 89°25′N 78°40′W / 89.417°N 78.667°W / 89.417; -78.667 (North Pole-1 (start)) (about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the North Pole) on May 21, 1937. The expedition members: oceanographer Pyotr Shirshov, meteorologist Yevgeny Fyodorov, radio operator Ernst Krenkel, and the leader Ivan Papanin[2] conducted scientific research at the station for the next 274 days. On February 19, 1938, the group was evacuated by the ice breakers Taimyr and Murman. By that time the station drifted 2850 km (1,770 mi) and was approaching the eastern coast of Greenland.[3][4]
  • First landing at the North Pole and first (confirmed) to stand on North Pole : three planes of Sever-2 expedition (Soviet Union) of 24 scientists and flight crew led by Aleksandr Kuznetsov. Pilots: Ivan Cherevichnyy, Vitaly Maslennikov and Ilya Kotov. Cherevichnyy's plane was the first one to land[5] at 4:44pm (Moscow Time, UTC+04:00) on April 23, 1948.[6]
  • First people to parachute onto the North Pole: Vitaly Volovich and Andrei Medvedev (Soviet Union)[7] on May 9, 1949,[8][9] from Douglas C-47 Skytrain, registered CCCP H-369.[10]
  • First naval vessel to reach North Pole: the USS Nautilus. August 3, 1958
  • First (confirmed) to reach North Pole by surface travel (with skidoo): Ralph Plaisted. April 19, 1968
  • First (confirmed) to reach the North Pole by dogsled: team led by Sir Wally Herbert. 1968-69
  • First surface ship to reach the North Pole: nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika (Soviet Union). August 17, 1977
  • First people to ski from the continent to the North Pole: Expedition of Dmitry Shparo, Jury Khmelevsky, Vladimir Ledenev, Anatoly Melnikov, Vladimir Rakmanov, Vasily Shishkarev and Vadim Davydov (Soviet Union). March 16-May 31, 1979
  • First (confirmed) expedition to reach the North Pole without resupply (one-way trip, flew home from pole): Will Steger International Polar Expedition. May 1, 1986. The team members were: Paul Schurke, Brent Boddy, Richard Weber, Geoff Carroll, Ann Bancroft and a team of 21 dogs. Brent Boddy & Richard Weber became the first Canadians to reach the North Pole on foot while Ann Bancroft became the first woman to trek to the Pole.[11]
  • First helicopter flight, by Australian Dick Smith on 28 April 1987 in Bell Jetranger II VH-DIK.[12]
  • First surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean on skis: Soviet-Canadian Polar Bridge expedition, 1988, from Northern Siberia to Ellesmere Island National Park Reserve in Canada, via the North Pole. Team members: 9 Soviets (Dmitry Shparo, Mikhail Malakhov, Vladimir Ledenov, Yury Khemeleski, Vasily Shishkariov, Alexandr Beliaev, Anatoly Melnikhov) and 4 Canadians (Richard Weber, Christopher Holloway, Max Buxton, Laurie Dexter). Richard Weber (Canadian team leader) became the first person to reach the North Pole from both sides of the Arctic Ocean.
  • First journey to the North Pole using only human resources: 1989 Vladimir Chukov «Arctica-89» Expedition. No dogs, air planes, or re-supplies. They departed Arctic Cape on March 15 and only seven of 13 people reached the Pole on May 6. One died 150 km before Pole, five were deported halfway.[13]
  • First attempt to journey to the North Pole and return using only human resources: 1992 Weber Malakhov Expedition. Richard Weber and Mikhail (Misha) Malakhov departed from Ward Hunt on March 13. Eighty-five days later, on June 14, they reached 89 degrees 39. With only 39 kilometers short of the Pole, they had to make the decision to turn back if they wanted to have any hope of returning to Ward Hunt. On June 21, due to the lack of ice, they were picked up by an airplane and brought back to safety.
  • First commercial North Pole expedition: Weber Malakhov North Pole Dash.1993 Richard Weber and Dr. Mikhail Malakhov pioneered the first commercial North Pole expedition. Today numerous companies take more than 100 people annually to the Pole.
  • First journey to the North Pole using only human resources by a single person: 1994 Børge Ousland expedition. No outside help, no dogs, air planes, or re-supplies. He departed Arctic Cape on March 2 and reached the Pole skiing.[14][15]
  • First journey to the North Pole using only human resources by starting command: 1994 Vladimir Chukov «Arctica-94» Expedition. No outside help, no dogs, air planes, or re-supplies. They departed Arctic Cape on March 15 and reached the Pole on May 17, by the same starting command of eight skiers.[14][15]
  • First journey to the North Pole and return using only human resources: 1995 Weber Malakhov Expedition. Richard Weber and Dr. Mikhail (Misha) Malakhov became the first to reach the North Pole and return to their starting point on land (Ward Hunt, Canada), with no outside help, no dogs, air planes, or re-supplies. They departed Ward Hunt on February 14 and reached the Pole eighty one days later, on May 12. On June 15, they were back at Ward Hunt establishing a record of 108 days for the longest unsupported polar journey. They are the only people to have reached the Pole four times.
  • First scuba dive at the North Pole: Andrei Rozhkov (Russia) on April 22, 1998 (ended up in fatality).[16]
  • First successful scuba dive at the North Pole: Michael Wolff (Austria), Brett Cormick (UK) and Bob Wass (USA) on April 24, 1999[16]
  • First unsupported ski crossing of the Arctic Ocean: Rune Gjeldnes and Torry Larsen, in 109 days; they passed through the North Pole on April 29, 2000.[17]
  • First unsupported solo trek from Canada to the North Pole: Pen Hadow reached the Pole May 19, 2003.[18]
  • First persons to reach the North Pole during the Arctic winter: Børge Ousland and Mike Horn. March 23, 2006
  • First expedition to reach the North Pole on snowshoes exclusively: April 26, 2006 North Pole Classic. Richard Weber guided Conrad Dickinson to the North Pole with no re-supplies. This was Richard Weber's fifth full North Pole expedition. He has trekked to the North Pole more than anyone in history.
  • On 21 February 2007 HRH Prince Edward announced the first British Army Expedition the Geographic North Pole, to be led by Captain Andrew Cooney (the youngest person to walk to the South Pole (see [1]).
  • First to dive to geographic North Pole sea bottom: Arktika 2007 expedition on August 2, 2007, by two MIR submarines. Crew members were: Arthur Chilingarov, Anatoly Sagalevich and Vladimir Gruzdev on MIR-1; Yevgeny Chernyaev, Mike McDowell and Frederik Paulsen on MIR-2.


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  3. ^ Lockerby, Patrick (2010-07-15). "Arctic Heroes #2 - North Pole 1". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  4. ^ Armstrong, Terence (2011). "The Russians in the Arctic". Nabu Press. ISBN 978-1-245-58209-4. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  5. ^ Mills, William James (2003). Exploring polar frontiers: a historical encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-422-0. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
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  7. ^ Barlow, John Matthew (2010-07-29). "The Cold War in the Arctic" (PDF). Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute (CDFAI). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  8. ^ "Vitaly Georgievich Volovich profile at". Polar World. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  9. ^ "Arctic Aerial Exploration". Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  10. ^ Сафронов-мл., Иван (2009-07-29). "Десантников отправят на Северный полюс". Коммерсантъ. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  11. ^ Steger, Will (September 1986). "North to the Pole". National Geographic. Vol. 170 no. 3. pp. 288–317. ISSN 0027-9358. OCLC 643483454. 
  12. ^ "Smith's Copter over N Pole". Canberra Times. 30 April 1987. 
  13. ^ "Встреча полярников". Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  14. ^ a b "17 мая 1994 года - впервые в мире Северный полюс успешно достигнут командой лыжников без внешней поддержки". Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  15. ^ a b Chukov, Vladimir (May 1995). "Снова на полюс". Vokrug Sveta. Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  16. ^ a b Cormick, Brett (February 2000). "Diving the top of the world". Diver. Retrieved 2012-01-09. [dead link]
  17. ^ "No longer on thin ice". Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  18. ^ Dougary, Ginny (May 20, 2003). "Pen Hadow makes history by walking solo to the North Pole". The Times.