Photograph by John Stetson, Will Steger Foundation
When you grow up with renowned Arctic guides for parents, with all of Baffin Island, Canada, as your playground, a team of sled dogs at your disposal, and a tangle of snow kites in the garage, you are bound for big things. So when Sarah McNair-Landry and her brother, Eric, along with their friend Curtis Jones, decided to snow-kite some 1,500 miles across the Greenland ice sheet—that's like going from Boston to Miami on an uninterrupted sea of ice—no one was surprised. In awe? Now that's another matter.
To most, such a remarkable journey would be a means to equally remarkable ends, a "first" of sorts. But Sarah and Eric claim not to be motivated by records. (Though, incidentally, they did grab two: They're the first brother-sister team to cross the ice sheet, and Sarah is the youngest to do a south-to-north traverse.) Instead, Sarah insists, the goal was to inspire the next generation of explorers.
When she is not in the cold, McNair-Landry spends her time working in film. After taking digital filmmaking courses at the New York Film Academy, she has documented all of her expeditions. She recently directed a documentary on waste management issues in northern Canada that was produced by the National Film Board of Canada.
Along with her brother Eric, she was nominated for National Geographic's prestigious Adventurer of the Year 2007 Award and received the Outdoor Idol Award in 2007.
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When you grow up with renowned Arctic guides for parents, with all of Baffin Island as your playground, a team of sled dogs at your disposal, and a tangle of snow kites in the garage, you are bound for big things.
McNair-Landry shares why Kamchatka, Russia, is her dream trip.
The Ellesmere Island Expedition team conducted studies examining the impact of global warming on polar environments in an effort to bring worldwide attention to an international crisis.
In Their Words
You get youth outside and get them active and they start to appreciate the environment and care for it.
With Greenland's main ice cap melting, McNair-Landry and her team set out to cross the great expanse.
Listen to Sarah McNair-Landry
Hear various interviews with McNair-Landry on National Geographic Weekend.
00:11:00 Sarah McNair Landry
In the middle of the night on her 85 day trip kite skiing along Canada's Northwest Passage, polar explorer Sarah McNair Landry got a rude wake up call. A curious - or hungry - polar bear decided to peel open her tent and see what was inside. Sarah and her brother Eric convinced the polar bear they weren't palatable. Luckily for the bear, Sarah gave him a warning shot from her shotgun.
00:11:00 Sarah & Eric McNair-Landry
Sarah and Eric McNair-Landry are a brother and sister team who have kite skied across Greenland and kite buggied through Mongolia. Now they are attempting to journey 1,800 miles across the Northwest Passage on kite skis. Boyd talks to the pair via satellite phone as they embark on their latest adventure.
00:11:00 Sarah & Eric McNair-Landry Part 1
National Geographic grantee Sarah McNair-Landry and her brother, Eric McNair-Landry, just finished kite-skiing 2,050 miles (3,300 kilometers) through the Northwest Passage. They faced hungry polar bears and bitter cold during the 85-day trek. The brother-and-sister duo join Boyd to talk about the adventure. Read Sarah and Eric’s Blog.
00:09:00 Sarah & Eric McNair-Landry Part 2
Eric and I are attempting the ﬁrst kite-skiing traverse of the frozen Northwest Passage
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