LONNIE DUPRE: ARCTIC EXPLORER
Meet Lonnie Dupre.
Lonnie, among his many accomplishments as an Arctic Explorer and advocate for exploration, culture and living a life with purpose, is the contributor of the forword for our In Place book.
In the past several years I’ve amassed an incredible sense of awe for the Arctic region — the climate, the wonders and the isolation that accompanies it. There was something ambitious, yet humbling about setting out in a pursuit to understand the world in such an inhospitable landscape. I have a secret longing to visit and understand how wild it is…
Of course, one travels where she can, and having just come back from our Light Grey trip to Iceland, I found myself longing to live vicariously through the spirit of another person who shared my (and undoubtedly many of our) passions for the exploration and discovery.
As we searched for the perfect person to join us for the beginning segment of the In Place book, we found Lonnie. Filled with the spirit of adventure, respect for the elements, people and landscape, and a thirst to educate, Lonnie became the voice we looked to to assist us in describing the emotion and awe we have for these diverse places on earth.
We wanted to share a little bit of information with you about him and his accomplishments - in the hopes you’ll take a peek at some of the amazing things he’ve been apart of, and consider setting your course to explore what inspires you as well.
Lonnie Dupre was born in Minnesota in 1961 and raised on a Minnesota farm. He is descended on his
mother’s side from Jacques Cartier, the 16th century Breton explorer who claimed what is now Canada
for France. Dupre currently lives in Grand Marais, Minnesota.
During an Arctic career spanning 25 years, Dupre has traveled more than 15,000 miles throughout the high Arctic and polar regions by dog team, ski and kayak. Many times, his path followed the footsteps of earlier explorers, including Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson, Roald Amundsen and Knud Rasmussen.
Like them, Dupre lived and traveled with the Polar Inuit, learning from these hardy people, and developing a deep appreciation for their culture and way of life. Dupre has always believed that if a person works hard and believes strongly in its purpose, it is possible to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in pursuit of one’s dream. He also believes that not reaching one’s goals does not mean failure, and that, in fact, success sometimes comes only when one turns back and starts again, more knowledgeable and more prepared than the time before. The success of his many Arctic expeditions, with extreme physical, mental and logistical hurdles, stand as testament to these core beliefs.
Dupre is internationally recognized for his exploration of the Arctic region. In 1991/92, he and Malcolm Vance completed the first west-to-east, 3,000-mile winter crossing of Canada’s famed Northwest Passage by dog team. Between 1997 and 2001, Dupre, along with John Hoelscher, achieved the first circumnavigation
of Greenland, a 6,500 mile, non-motorized journey by kayak and dog team. Dupre has pulled sleds on skis from Canada to the North Pole twice. The first time was in 2006 in the One World Expedition, which sent the message about climate change to 68 million worldwide. The second North Pole expedition was in 2009, when Dupre led a three-man team and endured -56F temperatures on the 650-mile journey. This expedition honored the centennial of the Robert Peary-Matthew Henson expedition to the North Pole.
Among the many honors Dupre has received are the following: the Scott Pearlman Field Award (2005), Rolex Laureate Award for Enterprise (2004), Polartec Challenge Award (2001 and 2000), and Fellow of National Explorers Club (named in 1996). In 2005 Dupre gave the keynote lecture to the Fellows of the Royal Geographic Society in London.
Dupre has just published a book detailing his Arctic expeditions, Life on Ice: 25 Years of Arctic Exploration. His previous books are: Greenland Expedition, Where Ice is Born, and They Lived to Tell the Tale, for which he was a contributing author. Dupre has also helped create two documentaries for National Geographic Society.
Click on some of the links to see some of Lonnie’s amazing projects & features.