A few of the project personnel went to the Bamba races, in which massive draft horses pulled heavy ballasted sledges over parallel strips of farmland.
Hadn't his refusal to use dogs to pull sledges been a catastrophic error?
All too often, people refer to his story as a tragedy, nothing more than hardy men pulling sledges.
Historically, Inuit would put their dogs to the harness as soon as they could walk, and would acquire the habit of pulling sledges in their attempts to break free.
The dogs were reported to be so enthusiastic in hunting bears that, sometimes, their handlers shouted "nanuq" (Inuktitut name for the bear) to encourage them when pulling sledges.
Robert Swan, who in 1985 walked snowmobiles or dogs to pull sledges, has announced plans to embark on a similar expedition on foot to the North Pole.
Three 14-dog teams will pull sledges loaded with food and gear.
Three years ago he and two companions successfully walked across Antarctica to the South Pole, pulling sledges containing their gear and food.
He also discovered that the normal cross-country skiing speed was the same as that of dogs pulling loaded sledges.
Trials dogs, Schutzhund dogs, agility competitors, pulling carts or sledges; the list is impressive.