Our van is named in honor of Matty McNair, a great contemporary explorer. Matty has skied to both the North and South Poles. She led the first all-women expedition to the North Pole.
She has explored the Greenland Ice Cap extensively, including pioneering trips with her children Sarah and Eric. She also completed an unsupported expedition to the South pole with Sarah and Eric.
Betsy and I have long been students of exploration, going back to our undergraduate days at Bowdoin College. Both Admirals Peary and McMillan were graduates of Bowdoin, and the college houses a wonderful artic museum.
It turns out that one of Matty McNair’s projects was to test the feasibility of Peary’s disputed claim that he had reached the North Pole in 1909. With Tom Avery, Matty replicated Peary’s trip and managed to complete the route hours ahead of the Peary record of 37 days, demonstrating that the claim was of reaching the North Pole was at least plausible.
“Matty” in the Navajo Nation, Chinle Arizona, at 7000 feet.
Matty McNair now owns and operates Northwinds a polar adventure company on Baffin Island, along with her children Eric and Sarah. See Northwinds Arctic.