Transglobe Expedition

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The Transglobe Expedition was the first expedition to make a circumpolar navigation, traveling the world "vertically" traversing both of the poles using only surface transport.

Starting in 1979 from Greenwich in the United Kingdom, adventurers Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Charles R. Burton went south, arriving at the South Pole on 15 December 1980. Over the next 14 months, they went north again, reaching the North Pole on 11 April 1982. Travelling south once more, they arrived again in Greenwich on 29 August 1982.[1]

Oliver Shepard took part in the Antarctic leg of the expedition.

Northwest Passage[edit]

As part of the expedition, Fiennes and Burton completed the Northwest Passage. They left Tuktoyaktuk on 26 July 1981, in the 18 ft open Boston Whaler and reached Tanquary Fiord, 36 days later, on 31 August 1981. Their journey was the first open boat transit of the Northwest Passage from West to East, and covered around 3,000 miles (2,600 nautical miles; 4,800 kilometres), taking a route through Dolphin and Union Strait following the South coast of Victoria and King William Islands, North, via Franklin Strait and Peel Sound, to Resolute Bay (on the southern side of Cornwallis Island), around the South and East coasts of Devon Island, through Hell Gate (near Cardigan Strait) and across Norwegian Bay to Eureka, Greely Bay and the head of Tanquary Fiord.

Between Tuktoyaktuk and Tanquary Fiord they travelled at an average speed of around 80 miles (70 nmi; 130 km) per day.

Once they reached Tanquary Fiord they had to trek 150 miles (130 nmi; 240 km) overland, via Lake Hazen, to Alert, before setting up their winter base camp.


  1. ^ Guinness Book of World Records 1997

Further reading[edit]

  • Fiennes, Sir Ranulph (October 1983). "Circling Earth From Pole to Pole". National Geographic. Vol. 164 no. 4. pp. 464–481. ISSN 0027-9358. OCLC 643483454.

External links[edit]