An explorer from Fulham has finished a gruelling Arctic challenge last completed more than a century ago.

Tim Oakley led a group of four men and 22 dogs on a 700-mile sled journey along the border of Canada and Alaska.

During the challenge the team endured temperatures of -50C, suffered frostbite and faced the challenge of melting ice.

After finishing Mr Oakley said: “We are looking forward to coming home.”

The 66-year-old was following in the footsteps of Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen, who made the same journey in 1905.

The completion of this successful trek comes just months after fellow Fulham explorer Henry Worsely tragically died 30 miles short of completing a 1,000-mile solo Antarctic expedition .

Mr Oakley and his team, who were supported by The Royal Geographical Society (RGS), set off from Hershel Island on February 28 and reached their destination of Eagle on March 28 (Easter Monday).

In doing so, they became the first team first to successfully retrace Amundsen’s 700 mile sledge journey to civilisation to report that he had navigated the North-West passage.

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And by comparing the environment they encountered to that of Amundsen’s, Mr Oakley and his team were able to highlight the fragility and changing nature of the Arctic.

Writing in his blog , Mr Oakley paid tribute to the dogs who towed them across the snow and ice. He wrote: “We are delighted to report that we have all suffered only mild frostbite on various fingers and toes and that the dogs are well.

'50/50 hopes'

“Only one of them seems to have lost a bit of weight but will be nurtured now and all of them have loads of new straw bedding and warm kennels to go to. What amazing dogs these have been!

“What a feat of endurance to have pulled a heavy sledge 700 miles in bitter temperatures over extreme terrain and still be wagging their tails every morning.

“At the beginning I thought we only had a 50/50 chance of achieving the journey, not achieved since 1905. It has been interesting and hard but we’ve had good dogs, a good team and the careful planning paid off. We are looking forward to coming home.”

'Fantastic achievement'

Dr Rita Gardner is director of the RGS, which is based in Kensington . She paid tribute to the remarkable feat of endurance.

"Successfully retracing Roald Amundsen’s 1905 sledge journey is a fantastic achievement by Tim and his team," she said.

"By recording their journey and comparing it to Amundsen’s, the team are highlighting fragile and changing Arctic environments to school children in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, Norway and the UK.”

Mr Worlsey, 55, was attempting a Shackleton Solo expedition when he died within touching distance of the finishing line in January.

The ex-Army officer was raising money for Endeavour Fund, a charity managed by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and his death sparked a flood of donations to the good cause .