Interview: John Huston, First American to Ski to North Pole Unsupported
At 5:30 p.m. on April 25th, after 54 days of skiing, John Huston, 32, and Tyler Fish, 34, reached the North Pole and became the first Americans in history do so unassisted and on skis. ADVENTURE caught up with John Huston yesterday as he relaxed in a hotel room on Oslo, Norway, waiting to fly home to his native Chicago.
ADVENTURE: How are you feeling?
John Huston: Great. Tyler and I each got minor frost-bite on our thighs and our fingers are still a little bit numb, but otherwise I’m feeling great.
Can you explain how your Midwestern upbringing affected you as an adventurer?
JH: Both Tyler and I have lived in Eli, Minnesota (Tyler still lives there), where there are more North Pole and Polar adventurers per capita than any other place in the United States.
You mean people who have trekked to the Poles?
JH: Mostly dog sledded, via the expeditions that Will Steger led beginning in the 80s. We also worked at an Outward Bound school in northern Minnesota that does dog sledding and cross-country skiing expeditions. Just being around the culture of Eli, where the older generation is filled with guys like Will Steger, was and is really inspring for us. We looked at what they had done and then set out to do what hadn’t been done yet.
How did you guys train for the expedition?
JH: The training was a three-year process that included other polar expeditions. I skied the South Pole last winter, which is actually a lot easier because it is a stable ice cap (as opposed to a bunch of floating icebergs). We also did several training expeditions on Baffin Island, as well as lots of research and consultation with people in Norway and Canada who have done similar expeditions. Back at home, we pulled 45 pound tires on our skis to simulate pulling sleds.