Fridtjof Nansen and the North Pole kayaks^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 8001
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 4 times

Fridtjof Nansen and the North Pole kayaks^

Post by MikeB » Tue May 01, 2012 6:08 pm

With thanks to Alice Courvoisier - -

One evening, while I was staying at a friend's in Tromsø, the conversation turned towards the summer 2011 expedition planned by the director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, with aim to kayak to the North Pole, study ice conditions along the way, and emphasize how much of an issue global warming is. “Have you heard about Fridtjof Nansen?” then asked my friend's landlord before narrating one of his countryman's Arctic adventures. Months later, upon reading Nansen's riveting biography by Roland Huntford, I discovered that he had, in fact, been the first person who attempted to take kayaks to the North Pole.

Read more (pdf) - - -

ian johnston
Posts: 665
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:36 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: Fridtjof Nansen and the North Pole kayaks

Post by ian johnston » Tue May 01, 2012 7:31 pm

Great stuff Mike,

A fascinating character; and a truly great polar adventurer/explorer. Both he and John Rae should be held in far higher regard than Scott or Franklin. Thanks for posting

Kind regards


Posts: 2116
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:42 pm
Location: Nr Stirling
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Fridtjof Nansen and the North Pole kayaks

Post by Owen » Tue May 01, 2012 9:18 pm

Somewhere I have an account with photo's of this attempt, I'll see if I can dig it out for you.

User avatar
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:45 pm
Location: York

Re: Fridtjof Nansen and the North Pole kayaks

Post by poun » Wed May 02, 2012 9:10 am

Here are a couple of links (that I've used to write the article). They are well worth checking and include pictures.

Eskimo Life
especially chapters 3:
and chapter 4: (some of the best descriptions of kayaking Inuits I've ever read).

Farthest North - Nansen's account of the FRAM expedition


User avatar
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:36 pm
Location: On the water, or in the woods
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Fridtjof Nansen and the North Pole kayaks

Post by PeterG » Sat May 05, 2012 6:29 pm

If in Oslo it is well worth visiting the Fram in its museum. You can wander about on board and visualise life locked in the ice.

Chris Bolton
Posts: 2409
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Fridtjof Nansen and the North Pole kayaks

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun May 06, 2012 11:10 pm

Excellent links - the Eskimo Life is fascinating, and Nansen's discussion is amazing for 1888. There is one aspect of Alice's article that I hesitate to quote on this site, about his first time in a kayak:
For initial practice, his craft was fitted with outriggers in the shape of small kayaks, about two feet long, which were fastened behind his seat.

PS - for newcomers to the site, I believe Mark first set up the Forum because was filled with discussion of similar devices - although I'm still not going to write the "S" word used to refer to them!

Post Reply