Every winter, adventurous sorts come to the woods outside of Ely to prepare for attempts to reach the North Pole by dogsled or ski. It is an opportunity for these people to see how their cold weather systems perform and learn skills for dogsledding and cold weather travel and camping. We call these North Pole Shakedowns. It is an opportunity for people to determine if they can safely attempt this sort of trip.

Elham, a participant from Dubai, is training to dogsled to the North Pole. This photo shows her frying some breakfast bagels with cheese in the glow of the tent during the Shakedown this week near Ely.
I guided the dogsledding portion of the Shakedown trip. Winter camping with us included a group of people shaking down for a pulk trip to the Pole. The really intriguing thing about the pulk group is that two of the participants were pulling pulks on their second hearts. Really. They both had received heart transplants. They traveled alongside their cardiologists, and are planning to pull pulks to the North Pole in April. Both the pulk and dogsled groups plan to start at 88 or 89 degrees north latitude for their attempts at the Pole.