Text by Tetsuhiko Endo
America’s heartland is known for its farms, football, and low-key, but friendly folk. With such a humble reputation, it’s easy to forget that the Midwest has also produced some of the most intrepid American arctic explorers of the decade. Case in point, explorer Will Steger, the Minnesota native who got our lifetime achievement award in 2007, has more significant polar "firsts" than just about anyone.
Joining them at the Pole was fellow Minnesotan Lonnie Dupre, who led the PolarExplorers Peary-Henson 100th Anniversary Commemorative Expedition. His team included Stuart Smith and Maxime Chaya, the first Lebanese person to reach the North Pole.