An adventurous brother-sister team on a Nat Geo Young Explorers grant kite-ski over 2,000 miles through Canada's Arctic archipelago, fending off polar bears and coping with unfavorable winds and rugged ice along the way.
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.
Having studied engineering, Eric McNair-Landry is a tech guru and web
designer. But his true passion is being out on expeditions. He is one of
the youngest to ski unsupported the South Pole, has kite-skied over
8000km on expeditions and has crossed the Greenland Icecap 6 times. He
currently holds the record for the longest kite-skiing distance in 24
hours at 595 km! His dog sledding skills lead him to embark on a
two-month dog sledding expedition in the high arctic with legendary
explorer Will Steger, not to mention has crossed the Gobi desert via a
kite propelled buggy and has just returned from a three month canoe
expedition in Mongolia and Russia.
To add to the impressive list, he was nominated for National
Geographic's prestigious award "Adventurer of the Year 2007" and
received the Outdoor Idol Award in 2007.