Background and reference materials

In Amundsen’s Footsteps

After discovering the North West Passage, Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen went on to lead the first successful expedition to the South Pole. In 2016, Tim Oakley led a dog sledging expedition to retrace the 1100km route Amundsen took from Herschel Island on the coast of the Beaufort Sea to Eagle, Alaska to send a telegram to tell the world that he had successfully navigated the North West Passage. Reference materials from the education programme that complemented the expedition have great relevance to Breaking the Cycle Yukon because the team travelled through the same region.

Expedition overview

Roald Amundsen

North West Passage

Global Warming and its affects in the Arctic

Herschel Island

Inuvialuit history


Vuntut Gwitchin (First Nation people of Old Crow)


Culture – Protecting the caribou


The Dempster Highway

Kate will do an acclimatisation ride before the ‘official’ start of the expedition along the Dempster Highway, an ‘all-weather’ road between the Klondike River (near Dawson) and Inuvik on the MacKenzie River Delta. It is the only road through the north of the Yukon Territory. Being March, Kate expects the gravel road to be frozen with some snow drifts. The following links are to a detailed map of the road, it’s history and what Kate might see. The name of the highway has particular relevance to Kate because her grandmother was a Dempster.