Kokatat Supplies Team Attempting to Complete Historic Arctic Exped

Arctic adventures Audun Tholfsen and Timo Palo just embarked on attempting Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen's 1895 abandoned return route using Kokatat GORE-TEX® Expedition dry suits.

In 1895, Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen abandoned his plan to reach the North Pole by ship and headed for the pole by dog sled. Nansen didn’t make it to the pole, but his journey and safe return became one of the poles most epic tales.

Nansen’s plan had he reached the North Pole was to head for Spitsbergen, the only permanently populated island of the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. Arctic adventures Audun Tholfsen and Timo Palo just embarked on attempting this return route using Kokatat GORE-TEX® Expedition dry suits while navigating sections of open water and treacherous ice flows.

After being air dropped at the geographical North Pole, Tholfsen and Palo will use skis and kayaks to cross the drifting ice floes and open water on their way to Spitsbergen. They will then continue across the fjords and mountains towards the south of the island until they reach Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in Spitsbergen. The expedition team hopes to complete the expedition, unsupported and without resupplies, in 50 to 60 days.

Throughout the way the team will take in-situ measurements and will carry out scientific observations. With a light set of instruments they will regularly measure the snow and ice thickness and surface layer air temperature data and drift speed of local ice floes.

In 1893, Nansen embarked on a daring plan of sailing his ship, the Fram, into the Arctic icepack and using the natural drift of the polar ice to reach the North Pole. After several months in the icepack, Nansen calculated that it might take over five years for the Fram to reach the Pole and Nansen devised a new plan.

On the 14th of March 1895, Nansen and dog sled expert and ship stoker Hjalmar Johansen left the icebound Fram and set out on skis and sleds with kayaks and 28 dogs for the North Pole. After reaching a record mark of latitude 86°14 ′ North on April 7th, they abandoned the attempt and retreated southwards, eventually reaching the island Franz Josef Land later that year.

With some good fortune in June of 1896 they met up with an English expedition team and were reunited with the Fram that had emerged from the ice pack north-west of Spitsbergen, as Nansen had predicted. However, the ship never made it beyond 85° 57' North.

Norwegian Tholfsen and Estonian Palo have skied across Greenland and completed several mountain ski expeditions in Svalbard and Norway. The team spent ten months as crewmembers on Tara, a French sailing vessel that, similar to the Fram, froze into the Arctic pack ice and drifted across the entire Arctic Ocean. Currently, Tholfsen works to provide logistic solutions and field support in Arctic regions. Palo has been working in Spitsbergen providing logistics and field support, and currently works as a PhD student and field technician at the University of Tartu, studying polar meteorology.

To learn more about Tholfsen and Palo and their expedition visit www.arcticreturntour.com.

For details on this and additional expeditions Kokatat supports visit http://www.kokatat.com/expeditions.

About Kokatat Watersports Wear: 
 Celebrating over 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”. 


Kokatat Supports Solo Arctic Traverse

In July 2012, Dutch adventurer Yuri Klaver will attempt to cross Arctic North America and beyond by kayak and skis. Titled the Polar American Traverse, Klaver will travel over 10,000 kilometers in his journey and will follow a route similar to the one Roald Amundsen sailed in ...read more

Kokatat sponsors first ever Arctic Ocean crossing expedition

This July, a Kokatat-sponsored team will embark on one of the exploration world’s last great firsts: a non-stop, unsupported row across the Arctic Ocean. The four-man team of Paul Ridley, Collin West, Neal Mueller and Scott Mortensen aim to be the first. No one has ever ...read more

Duo attempts Northwest Passage record in Kokatat gear

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, July 18, 2013 — On July 18th, two Canadian firefighters, Sebastien Lapierre and Olivier Giasson, will depart from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories for Igloolik, Nunavut in an attempt to be the first team to kayak the Northwest Passage in a single season. ...read more

Kokatat outfits Ikkatsu Expedition

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, February 19, 2013 – In June 2013, Kokatat-supported team Ken Campbell and Steve Weileman will embark on the next phase of the Ikkatsu Project to the volcanic island of Augustine in south-central Alaska. Campbell and Weileman will complete systematic beach ...read more

Domestic manufacturing allows Kokatat to expand custom dry suit progra

Kokatat is offering paddlers the opportunity to create and purchase their very own custom GORE-TEX® dry suits with the launch of a new online tool. Affectionately referred to as GIZMO, the online tool lets customers easily design and personalize their own custom, made-to-order ...read more

Kokatat heads to the “Ring of Fire” with Project Sea Otter

The fate of the sea otter and Aleut populations are intrinsically linked. Before contact with Europeans it is estimated that there were 25,000 Aleuts, today there are about 2,000. Similarly the sea otter population is believed to have undergone a decline exceeding 50% over the ...read more

Kokatat ambassador Jakub Sedivy joins Langu Khola Expedition

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, September 25, 2012 – Seasoned whitewater kayaker and Kokatat ambassador Jakub Sedivy is set to embark this October on an expedition down the Langu Khola River in Nepal. 
 Sedivy and his teammates composed of Ron Fischer (CH), Raphael Thiebaut (F), Stefan ...read more

Kokatat-sponsored Adventurers Head to the High Canadian Arctic

On July 10th, Jim Baird along with his brother Ted Baird will head for the Arctic Archipelago to undertake the Canoe Beyond Kuujjua River/Beaufort Sea whitewater canoe expedition. Jim and Ted will descend the advanced whitewater of the Northwest Territories Kuujjua River, ...read more

Emily Jackson joins Team Kokatat

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, March 12, 2013 --- Kokatat is pleased to welcome world champion freestyle kayaker Emily Jackson to Team Kokatat, joining her brother Dane and father EJ on the team. The Rock Island, Tennessee native is a two-time World Freestyle Kayak Champion. “Kayaking ...read more