Soviet–Canadian 1988 Polar Bridge Expedition
The Soviet–Canadian 1988 Polar Bridge Expedition (also known as Skitrek) began on March 3, 1988, when a group of thirteen Russian and Canadian skiers set out from Siberia, in an attempt to ski to Canada over the North Pole. The nine Russians and four Canadians reached the pole on 25 April and concluded their trek on Wednesday, June 1, 1988, when they reached Ward Hunt Island, Ellesmere, Northern Canada. At the North Pole, they were welcomed by a group of dignitaries from the Soviet Union and Canada, members of the international press, and radio amateurs involved in support and communications. The daily progress of the skiers was followed by many thousands of school children and radio amateurs around the world. They listened to the voice synthesizer on board the UoSAT-OSCAR-11 satellite, which transmitted the latest known position of the expedition in FM on the two-meter VHF amateur radio band, using digitised voice; and to progress reports, produced regularly by AMSAT-NA, which were distributed world-wide through amateur packet radio and orbiting amateur radio satellites.
- 1 Background
- 2 Communications
- 3 Digitalker
- 4 The Expedition
- 5 The North Pole
- 6 Messages from the 'moving group'
- 7 Progress reports
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
In the autumn of 1986, a group of Soviet scientists and radio amateurs made plans to ski to the South Pole, starting at the Antarctic coast. They intended to use amateur shortwave radio for all their communication with the outside world, especially the support stations in Moscow. However, it is not a good idea to rely on radio propagation conditions to the other side of the world, even with a support station on the Antarctic continent itself; so, in November, 1986, the University of Surrey (UoS) UoSAT centre was contacted to investigate the feasibility of using the UoSAT-OSCAR-11 satellite to relay information to the skiers.
Since UoSAT-2 (aka UO-11 or UoSAT-Oscar-11) is a sun-synchronous polar orbiting satellite in a low earth orbit, it passes over the poles every 98 minutes and a small handheld receiver with a simple whip aerial is sufficient to get a few minutes of excellent reception on each pass. By the end of 1987, while preparations were under way in the USSR, it was decided that the expedition would not take place at the South Pole, but instead at the North Pole; and the team would consist not only of Soviets, but a few experienced Canadian skiers as well. This time they would not only ski to the pole but continue their trek to Canada. The objective thus became to ski across the Arctic Ocean from the Siberian coast, via the North Pole, to the Canadian coast. The expedition started on March 3, 1988, and finished on June 1, when the skiers reached the small Ward Hunt Island just off Cape Columbia at Ellesmere Island, Northern Canada. The expedition was privately organized by 'Komsomolskaya Pravda', (the Soviet Youth Newspaper). Sponsors were the Soviet Youth Travel Agency 'Sputnik', and McDonald's restaurants of Canada. Canadian Project Manager was the Polar Bridge Company, a group organized by the Canadian skiers.
All the necessary equipment for the 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) route was carried in rucksacks. No sledges, dogs or other transport vehicles were used, other than six airdrops of new supplies, carried out by Russian and Canadian planes. The Canadian and Russian skiers trained in both Canada and Siberia during the months prior to the expedition and also tried to learn to speak and understand each other's language. The main obstacles during the 95–100 days were open water, pressure ridges, thin ice, blizzards and very low temperatures, (-50 °C). They were medically examined before and after the expedition.
The Russian group consisted of: expedition leader and Arctic explorer Dmitry Shparo; photographer Alexander (Sasha) Belyayev, also in charge of meals; artist Fyodor Konyukhev; cameraman Vladimir Ledenev; physician Mikhail (Misha) Malakhov; radio operators Anatoli Melnikov and Vasili Shishkaryov; Anatoly Fedyakov who was responsible for equipment; and researcher Yuri Hmelevsky. The four Canadians were: navigator Richard Weber; radio operator Laurie Dexter; doctor Max Buxton; and scientist Chris Holloway. (See List of firsts in the Geographic North Pole).
Communications were handled via HF (shortwave) amateur radio between the skiers and support stations on and near the Arctic Ocean, and headquarters in Moscow and Ottawa. Special amateur radio call signs, CI8UA and EXOVE, were allocated for the expedition; and prefixes, CI8 and EX, for the support stations. The University of Surrey's orbiting space satellite UoSAT-OSCAR-11 was used to relay the position of the group, using the on-board Digitalker, (a computer speech synthesizer). At this time, before the advent of GPS, the position of the group was obtained by celestial measurements made by skiers themselves, and by using a beacon or Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) to send signals to be picked up by one of the COSPAS and SARSAT 'Search and Rescue' satellites when it flies overhead. Like the UoSAT satellite, they are in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), flying over the poles every 95–98 minutes. The position is calculated by command and tracking stations in Moscow and Canada, using the on-board stored date and time of the signal, and the measured Doppler effect, (a shift in frequency due to the relative velocity between the beacon and the satellite). The skiers could not do the translation to degrees longitude and latitude, because this would require special receivers and computers. Once processed, the data was sent directly to the skiers via shortwave amateur radio, (radio propagation conditions permitting), and by telex or shortwave radio (digital packet radio or voice) to the UoSAT command station at the University of Surrey in Guildford, Surrey, UK. There the information was subsequently loaded into the UoSAT-OSCAR-11 Digitalker. To listen to the satellite, the skiers carried ICOM u2AT handhelds, which were donated by ICOM and tested at very low temperatures, (-50 °C).
The shortwave radio equipment used by the expedition was a Soviet-made solid state 10 watt tranceiver. It weighed 1.2 kilograms without batteries and had six fixed, crystal controlled frequencies for single-sideband (SSB) operation on the 80, 40 and 20 meter amateur radio bands. The 2 kg lithium battery provided the 2.2 amps at 12 V required to operate the transceiver for about a month, one hour per day, at low temperatures. The antenna for the system was an inverted-V with the mast made of five skis fitted together. The limited lifetime of the batteries was one of the reasons that there was generally no contact between radio 'Hams' and the skiers, other than with the support stations.
Uploads from the control station at the University of Surrey to the polar orbiting UoSAT satellite were delayed six to seven hours because the satellite only comes in range during two daily 'windows': two or three passes in the morning and two or three passes in the evening. The satellite flies over the North Pole every 98 minutes.
Each day around 1100 GMT the skiers rested for about eight hours and switched on their ELTs for about two hours. During this period the COSPAS/SARSAT satellites passed at least once. When the satellites came in range of their ground stations in Moscow or Ottawa, the information was downloaded and processed. The resulting position in degrees longitude and latitude was then passed on to the Ski-Trek amateur radio support stations.
The skiers got this information via the support stations in the USSR and Canada on their shortwave radio and by listening to the UoSAT-2 satellite. The support stations were manned and set up by amateur radio volunteers in remote areas, close to or on the Arctic ocean at:
- Resolute Bay on Ellesmere Island, NWT, Canada (CI8C)
- Sredniy Island, a small Island in the Arctic Ocean near Severnaya Zemlia, Siberia (EX0KP)
- Soviet drifting ice island North-Pole 28, near the North-Pole (4K0DC and 4K0DX)
- Dikson Island, North Siberia, USSR (4K0DR)
- the University of Surrey 'Electronics And Radio Society' (ears) radio station in the UK () and UoSAT Control Station for UoSAT-OSCAR-11 communications
One of the problems was composing, from a limited vocabulary, a proper DIGITALKER message for the expedition. The speech chips on board the satellite had about 500 words, some with an American accent, others with an English accent. The manufacturers actually used human voices which were digitised, not unlike the Compact Disc technique, but with fewer samples per second. Words such as NORTH, WEST, EAST, POSITION, LATITUDE, and LONGITUDE were not available, and new words could not be added. Fortunately, they did have DEGREE, TIME, and DATE.
The following message format was chosen, (with sample values):
<Two warning tones> NUMBER 0 PRIORITY 0 0 0 DATE FIRST OF MARCH TIME 12 HOURS AND 0 MINUTES GMT YOU ARE AT 80 DEGREES 12 POINT 3 MINUTES N AND 90 DEGREES 87.6 MINUTES E 73 FROM UOSAT
see here for an audio recording.
The number would increase for every new position report, (typically once per day). The priority was an emergency code, for when all communication with the skiers failed. Assuming they could still listen to UoSAT, it gave the possibility to acknowledge the last received message and indicate the action taken, like sending a plane or helicopter, if necessary. This feature was not needed. '73' is amateur radio speak, (originating from Morse code), for 'Greetings and Good Bye'.
This unprecedented hybrid link, involving ELTs, SARSAT/COSPAS, voice or telex and UoSAT-OSCAR-11 was known as NORDSKI COMM. It was the co-primary navigation tool for the skiers; celestial navigation was the other, more traditional, method.
The start was delayed two days by bad weather preventing the airplane taking off for Sredniy. As the skiers set out, temperatures were around -47 °C with occasional blizzards. It was still polar night which would end at the start of spring, 23 May. Unexpectedly for those not familiar with Arctic regions, the skiers reported many leads of open water. They didn't use their single man boats, opting to try to go around the lead, or wait until the gap narrowed. The main cause of this open water phenomenon is the Transpolar Drift Stream, a major force in the ocean, which makes the ice break up and drift away, helped by the ever blowing wind. Even when the skiers rested for a few days, their position changed by several kilometres a day, usually in a northerly direction. The daily routine consisted of a steady 10 to 12 hour trek, followed by setting up their single twelve-man tent, switching on their ELT, having a meal of dried food, and spending a few minutes on the shortwave radio (80 m). A few hours later they again had a short contact on 80m to get the SARSAT/COSPAS information. When shortwave propagation failed, they had to wait until the UoSAT satellite was overhead and listen to the Digitalker. The morning routine included a quick breakfast and tent break-down. The skiers reported building igloos to dry clothing. Damp clothing froze as soon as they took it off. The main tent had the damp problem as well, but the temperature inside a properly built igloo can rise above 0 °C.
The first of 6 airdrops of supplies took place on March 14. Eleven parachute assisted drops were made in two passes over the skiers with an Antonov AN-74 Soviet plane, specially designed for this type of expedition work. Later, after they passed the North Pole, the Canadian side took over responsibility for the airdrops. Supplies included food and batteries, and, on one occasion, replacement skis.
The North Pole
The skiers reached the North Pole on April 26, and were welcomed by a group of journalists, officials (including energy minister Izraeli from the USSR and mining minister M. Masse from Canada), and radio amateurs involved in support and communications. All were flown in by helicopter from NP-28, the Soviet drifting ice station about 30 km from the North Pole, which contained an airstrip suitable for the Antonov AN-74, and Canadian Twin Otter and Hawker Siddeley HS748 airplanes. One airdrop, this time containing champagne and caviar, was made in front of the whole party.
As the visitors were hurrying back home, the skiers started their 750 km trip to Ellesmere Island. Two more air drops were carried out, and they remained in good health and spirits.
The Transpolar Skitrek Expedition came to a successful conclusion on Wednesday, June 1, 1988, at 14:35 UTC as the 13 skiers stepped ashore on Ward Hunt Island just off the coast of Cape Columbia, Ellesmere Island.
Messages from the 'moving group'
- Frost bite scaring most faces. Toes and fingers permanently numb
- and painful even when warm. A skier has blisters on his feet and
- is taking medication for them. We have been making good distance
- with only one lead blocking us for 1/2-day. Moisture is a big
- problem in tent, clothing and boots. No chance of drying clothes
- that are not being worn as they freeze instantly when taken off.
- Richard (Weber) and Christopher (Holloway) have slept outside
- every night to avoid condensation from the tent with the
- success of perfect igloo building skills. Three pairs of
- Russian skis broken and we will replace them with Canadian.
- We have received telegrams from (Secretary) Gorbachev and
- (Prime Minister) Mulroney wishing success. With our 90km
- behind us we press on with good steerage and look forward to
- longer days and warmer weather.
- "We have been on the ice 45 days now and are ready to begin our final
- assault on the Pole. The journey has been divided into two week
- stages Every stage has had its unique problems and solutions, but
- as we progress I think we all feel that things are getting better. The
- weather has warmed from a bone chilling -48 degrees Celsius to the
- present balmy -25 degrees. Many of our initial injuries attributable
- to cold and inexperience are resolving and we are learning to live and
- work together more efficiently as a travelling group. For example, in
- our first thirteen day stage, we covered 215 km. Stage two saw 236 km
- passed and our recent thirteen days of skiing reduced the distance by
- 313 km. On the map our efficiency improved. In our tents and in our
- minds the mood has shifted from apprehension, somber eternalization
- and concern with survival to optimization, conviviality and a sense of
- accomplishment. Almost 1000 km remain before our goal is realized, but
- with the Pole just over 200 km away we are feeling spunkier than at
- any point to date. The upcoming ceremonies at the Pole, which will
- bring us in direct contact with the outside world for the first time
- since our departure, present an exciting focus for our attention. This
- is the largest expedition ever to reach the Pole and the one hundred
- days required for the complete crossing is a long time to spend on the
- ice. In every respect, these startling adventures represent the tip of
- the iceberg. The magnitude of the project is considerable and its
- success and completion depends on the work of many people on both
- sides of the Arctic Sea. For the Canadian members of the trip now
- presents (an opportunity for thoughts) of home, our families and
- friends. For all of us we have, in fact, reaffirmed our love for them
- and for the homeland."
- "We have found peanut butter to be one of the Arctic's best travelling
- foods. We receive it in frozen lumps of 100 grams. The plan was
- originally for 50 grams per man per day but it is so popular we are
- increasing it to 100 grams daily. The Soviets were unfamiliar with
- peanut butter and, at first, somewhat suspicious, but have taken to it
- with vigour. Peanut butter supplies a good balance of carbohydrates
- and fats, supplying both quick and long term energy. It is also a
- tasty treat, something to look forward to during our ten hour skiing
- day. P.S. At -40 degrees Celsius peanut butter does not stick to the
- roof of your mouth."
Daily reports were made by the team to communications support stations on Sredniy Island, USSR, Russian ice station North Pole 28 and Resolute Bay, Canada via amateur radio. These reports were relayed south at 1500z in the 20m amateur radio band on 14.121mHz USB. Reports were automatically taped and reduced to daily information notes for continuing logs.
DAY/TIM UTC LATITUDE LONGITUDE REMARKS PROGRESS ======== === === ========== ================================== ======== 03Mar 07:31 81d15.0mN 95d50.0mE Starting point on Cape Arktichesky 03Mar 11:24 81d21.2mN 96d12.8mE 7km 04Mar 11:13 81d32.3mN 97d 0.0mE -28dC 20km 05Mar 12:44 81d35.8mN 96d52.4mE -21dC Snow wind 33meters/sec 14km 06Mar No significant progress - Open water – Very windy - camped early 0km 07Mar 12:23 81d56.6mN 97d15.1mE 17km 08Mar No position report 20km 09Mar 12:30 82d09.3mN 97d47.0mE -30dC 12km 10MAR 11:58 82d16.9mN 97d24.6mE -45dC 20km 11Mar 11:36 82d28.8mN 97d13.0mE 12Mar No position report 25km 13Mar 11:16 82d52.2mN 97d19.8mE -42dC wind 3-4meters/sec 24km 14Mar <1st air drop successful on 14MAR > 15Mar 13:00 82d58.7mN 97d28.9mE <Team built igloo and stayed till > 16Mar <17Mar for R&R and experiment > 17Mar 13:00 83d11.7mN 97d26.6mE -35dC SE wind 3-5meters/sec 24km 18Mar 13:00 83d37.9mN 97d21.7mE -31dC no wind or open water good cond 22km 20Mar 11:40 83d51.8mN 97d27.4mE -36dC wind 1-2mps good ice & spirits 26km 21Mar 13:00 84d03.5mN 97d40.4mE -39dC ice excellent few leads&hummocks 21km 22Mar 13:02 84d19.0mN 97d02.9mE Everything good ice, temp, progress 28km 23Mar 13:00 84d28.9mN 96d12.4mE -33dC Strong head winds 20-40km/hr 15km 24Mar 13:00 84d25.6mN 95d58.2mE -37dC wind 40km/hr snowstorm 0km 25Mar No position report 26Mar 12:15 84d43.1mN 95d50.5mE -42dC Clear wind NW 2-3mps 2days prog 32.4km 27Mar 10:48 85d00.1mN 95d31.5mE -45dC clear wind light good ice 31km 28Mar 10:26 85d07.1mN 95d17.4mE -38dC Open water a problem 12km 29Mar 11:38 85d18.9mN 94d55.3mE -35dC 2nd air drop a success - stopped 24km 30Mar No change <Stopped at drop point for R&R > 31Mar No change <and experiments> 01Apr 11:12 85d23.2mN 93d40.0mE -37dC Slept in before starting 8km 02Apr No position report 03Apr 11:49 85d48.8mN 92d20.5mE -36dC Everybody ok 04Apr 10:39 86d00.7mN 91d44.5mE -37dC 22km 05Apr 11:01 86d12.4mN 92d07.2mE 421km to go to the pole 22km 06Apr 10:57 86d26.3mN 93d18.3mE -40dC Lots of ice everybody ok 27km 07Apr 10:08 86d40.6mN 92d38.6mE -28dC 600km total 369km to the pole 26km 08Apr 11:55 87d00.2mN 91d03.5mE -28dC Best single day progress 37km 09Apr 10:38 87d14.2mN 91d48.4mE 10Apr 11:37 87d32.6mN 93d29.5mE -30dC 272km to the pole everything ok 34km 11Apr 12:06 87d42.4mN 94d55.7mE -30dC Estimating pole April 24-26 18km 12Apr 10:49 88d02.7mN 95d34.9mE -30dC 235km to pole 37km 13Apr 10:42 88d10.4mN 96d45.2mE Start of trek before air drop 15km 13Apr 88d11.4mN 97d07.0mE Air drop coordinates 14Apr 11:45 88d11.4mN 95d09.9mE Movement due only to ice drift 15Apr 10:35 88d10.7mN 91d48.2mE Movement due only to ice drift 16Apr 10:30 88d08.9mN 90d44.6mE Movement due only to ice drift 17Apr 11:00 88d20.3mN 91d28.9mE -32dC 185km to pole 25km 18Apr 11:10 88d33.9mN 91d47.9mE -30dC 27km 19Apr 11:58 88d45.8mN 94d31.6mE -35dC 140km to pole 27km 20Apr 11:05 89d00.0mN 95d42.8mE -30dC Now estimating pole on 25Apr 25km 21Apr 11:33 89d11.9mN 89d20.6mE -22dC Wind NE 43kts bad conditions 20km 22Apr 12:39 89d21.2mN 80d26.2mE -20dC 64km to pole 21km 23Apr 89d30.9mN 87d54.9mE -20dC 46km to pole ETA 25Apr 18km 24Apr 11:13 89d46.4mN 107d25.7mE -25dC 24km to the pole 28km 25Apr 10:12 89d56.6mN 147d18.8mE 6km to pole 22km 26Apr 16:00 90d00.0mN The North Pole 27Apr 90d00.0mN Official Canadian/Russian meeting 28Apr 11:21 89d51.1mN 109d53.9mW 29Apr 10:30 89d48.2mN 106d55.0mW 30Apr 10:32 89d37.9mN 94d29.8mW 01May 11:49 89d18.6mN 90d17.4mW -10dC wind 25km/h vis 4km light snow 36km 02May 11:29 89d05.6mN 86d03.0mW 03May 11:58 88d46.6mN 81d41.8mW 04May 10:15 88d31.7mN 81d07.3mW -5dC Open water could become a prob 28km 05May 11:41 88d14.4mN 81d13.6mW 06May No position report 07May 11:54 87d43.5mN 81d31.5mW 08May 10:48 87d25.4mN 81d13.9mW 09May No report available 10May 11:36 86d56.6mN 79d20.3mW 11May 10:28 86d44.7mN 77d32.1mW Approximately 358km from pole 22km 12May 12:12 86d39.7mN 75d38.6mW Approximately 400km from finish 10km 13May No movement stopped for resupply aircraft - 1st attempt failed 14May 11:47 86d37.5mN 75d19.9mW Resupply successful - Drift movement only 15May 10:37 86d36.0mN 75d39.2mW Drift movement only 16May 11:02 86d37.3mN 75d48.4mW Drift movement only 17May 11:00 86d21.3mN 76d29 mW Trek now underway again 18May 10:17 86d06.4mN 77d25.1mW 19May 11:37 85d56.1mN 77d06.4mW -11dC 300km remaining 20km 20May 10:44 85d41.7mN 76d54.8mW -9dC 273km remaining to go 27km 21May 11:42 85d28.2mN 77d09.5mW -10dC 24km 22May 10:22 85d15.8mN 77d04.9mW -8dC Rough ice-problem with lead 24km 23May 10:12 84d59.4mN 77d19.2mW -7dC Lots of water on ice 197km to go 28km 24May 13:48 84d40.2mN 75d47.4mW Wind north 30km/h good ice 35km 25May 11:50 84d28.2mN 75d31.5mW -7dC Planning for big lead near land 22km 26May 11:20 84d16.3mN 75d17.2mW -6dC Rough ice but a little sun 22km 27May 11:09 84d00.4mN 74d35.2mW -6dC Rough ice and foggy 99.9km to go 22km 28May 11:34 83d47.8mN 74d40.2mW -6dC Very rough ice 23km 29May 10:48 83d33.6mN 74d27.3mW -6dC Good ice light wind 26km 30May 10:58 83d24.7mN 74d39.0mW -14dC Very rough going very windy 10km 31May 10:25 83d12.9mN 74d18.8mW -10dC Skiers still moving 21km to go 21km 01Jun 11:39 83d06.8mN 74d39.2mW Moving after 1-hour rest 18km 01Jun 14:35 The TREK is complete at Ward Hunt Island
- Richard Ensign, Transpolar Skitrek Progress Reports #1-20, 1988
- University of Surrey, UoSAT group, correspondence between Dr M Sweeting, then head of the UoSAT department, and Mr Pat Gowen G3IOR, Norwich, UK on behalf of Leonid Labutin UA3CR, Moscow (Radio Amateurs)
- Soviet Canadian Polar Bridge Expedition
- Polar Bridge: An Arctic Odyssey] by Richar Weber, Laurie Dexter, Christopher Holloway, Max Buxton, Key Porter Books, 1990
- Arctic Med Res. 1991 Suppl:478–80. Stresses encountered in the trans-polar ski-trek. Shephard RJ. Source: School of Physical and Health Education, University of Toronto. PMID 1365198
- Medical observations of members of the Soviet/Canadian 1988 Polar Bridge Expedition. Sproule J, Jetté M, Rode A., Source: School of Human Kinetics Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. PMID 1365201
- members of the expedition
- UoSAT-2 helped bridge the Pole
- TRANSPOLAR SKITREK PROGRESS REPORT #1: February 1, 1988
- UoSAT-2 Data sheet, University of Surrey, UoSAT group, 1986
- Skitrek and Nordski Comm
- Newspaper De Telegraaf (Netherlands) Saturday 1 June 1988 'STEM UIT DE HEMEL LEIDT POOLEXPEDITIE' (voice from heaven leads polar expedition) (article about the use of 'talking satellite' UoSAT-2 for the polar ski-trek expedition)
- picture of igloo made by R.Weber during the Skitrek expedition
- University of Surrey Newsletter nr 1178, 7 September 1988: UoSAT TEAM MEMBER JOINS SKITREK AT NORTHPOLE
- Richard Ensign: TRANSPOLAR SKITREK PROGRESS REPORT #7: March 12, 1988
- Richard Ensign: TRANSPOLAR SKITREK PROGRESS REPORT #13: April 23, 1988
- TRANSPOLAR SKITREK PROGRESS REPORT #13: April 23, 1988
- TRANSPOLAR SKITREK PROGRESS REPORT #20, June 11, 1988 by Richard Ensign, AMSAT_NA Science coordinator
- University of Surrey, several UoSAT-2 Satellite papers
- AMSAT-UK Colloquium, Guildford, August 1988, A slide-show Talk about the Skitrek 1988 expedition by M.Meerman
- Many messages received through Amateur Packet Radio directly from Ski-trek Support stations
- Own material
- Book - Polar Bridge expedition Exploring Polar Frontiers: A - L., Volume 1 page 606, By William James Mills (ABC-CLIO)
- The 1988 Polar Bridge Expedition: effects of the three-month trans-polar ski-trek on aerobic fitness and skiing economy.
- Booth MA, Thoden JS, Reardon FD, Jette M, Rode A., Arctic Med Res. 1991;Suppl:542–44.
- Article about Richard Weber mentioning 1988 Soviet - Canadian Polar Bridge Expedition
- Article about Laurie Dexter member of the joint Soviet-Canadian Polar Bridge expedition that skied from Russia to Canada through the North Pole in 1988.
- Stresses encountered in the trans-polar ski-trek Arctic Med Res. 1991;Suppl:478–80.
- Shephard RJ. Source: School of Physical and Health Education, University of Toronto. PMID 1365198
- worlddiscovery mentioning the First surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Canada; 1988 Polar Bridge Expedition
- Article about Dexter who was a member of the 91-day Soviet-Canadian Polar Bridge ski expedition from Russia to Canada via the North Pole
- Book review: Polar Expeditions by J. D. Carpenter
- Newspaper De Apeldoornse Courant (Netherlands) 9 May 1988, 'Apeldoorner op "de top van de wereld" (Apeldoorner on "the top of the world")
- (Article about trip to the NorthPole to meet the expedition)
- Newspaper Surrey Advertiser (UK) 16 Sep 1988 'Conference at the Pole'
- (Article about involvement of University of Surrey in the 1988 Skitrek expedition)
- Newspaper 'Die Vaderland' (South Africa) 22 Sep 1988 'Ski-ekspedisie op skyfies' (Ski expedition on dia-slides)
- (Article about upcoming talk and slide show about the communications used by the SkiTrek expedition, in Johannesburg)
- Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd
- NorthPole trip website with many photographs
- AMSAT - The Amateur Satellite Organisation
- about the expedition
- several photographs made by members of the expedition
- POLAR BRIDGE – 1988 – ПОЛЯРНЫЙ МОСТ - qsl cards gallery of support stations
- UoSAT-2 transmitting for 26 years - mentioning digitalker to support Skitrek 1988
- Ski Museum bios Richar Weber, page 1
- Obituary Leonid Labutin UA3CR main organizer of 'Nordski-Comm'
- adventure speakers: Laurie Dexter about his experiences (Chapter 5,The Excellence in Endurance, from 'One Step Beyond: Rediscovering the Adventure Attitude')
- about UoSAT-11 Satellite supporting the SkiTrek
- Expedition Archives mentioning the 1988 Soviet-Canadian Polar Bridge Expedition from Russia to Canada