South Pole adventurers Chris and Marty Fagan honored as Festival at Mount Si grand marshals

Chris and Marty Fagan at the south pole marker in January. - Courtesy photo
Chris and Marty Fagan at the south pole marker in January.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

This past winter, Chris and Marty Fagan of North Bend made a life-changing journey to the South Pole.

They’re getting a hometown hurrah this summer, named grand marshals of the Festival at Mount Si Parade.

“It seemed like, what an amazing thing that they’ve done!” said Festival committee chairwoman Jill Massengill. “They’re local. We wanted to make sure we honored local celebrities.”

Below, Chris Fagan answers questions about their selection and what’s happening to this adventuresome couple now.

How does it feel to be selected to represent your community?

“It is quite an honor to be selected to represent North Bend at the Festival of Mount Si. We love this community that we’ve lived in for 12 years. We love the small town feel and positive spirit. We are so fortunate to live in a community that embraced us throughout our expedition experience.”

What are you two up to now?

“We are both back to our regular routines, enjoying more free time since we aren’t spending every free moment planning and training.  We are speaking at various organizations, sharing our story and hopefully inspiring others along the way. We are back to ultra-running and spending time in the mountains. I am working at my consulting business, SparkFire. Marty is getting back to work as a director of facilities and real estate.”

What do you think the significance of your polar trek is to your lives?

“Our expedition reinforced our belief that to grow, we must push beyond our comfort zones and imagine possibilities that seem beyond our reach. Like past adventures, Marty and I grew even closer through our Antarctica experience.

“When times got tough, it was ultimately the love and support of our family, friends and fans that gave us the final push to the pole. Feeling that deep connection and unconditional love, that’s what really matters in life.

“In the end, our journey became bigger than us. Discovering the different ways that we inspired kids and adults made the expedition that much more worthwhile.”

Do people always ask you about it? Do you get tired of talking about it?

“We feel honored when people ask us about our expedition and are thrilled to meet people who actually followed along during our trip. Talking about our South Pole adventure is a joy since it holds such a special place in our hearts.”

Have you ever taken part in the Festival at Mount Si? What’s your favorite part?

“We enjoy the variety of events offered by the Festival at Mount Si—there is something for everyone. When our son was younger, he loved the bouncy house and discovering the fun arts and crafts booths catered to kids. We always look forward to listening to awesome music with beautiful Mount Si as a backdrop.”

The Fagans’ polar trek

Their 2014 South Pole trip was three years in the making for North Bend’s Chris and Marty Fagan. The couple spent nine hours a day for nearly 50 days dragging 200-plus pounds of food and supplies across nearly 600 miles of glacier in round-the-clock daylight.

The Fagans left home Nov. 17. As team 3 Below Zero, on Jan. 18, they completed that trip, an unguided, unsupported (no re-supply) and unassisted (powered solely by their own muscles), skiing expedition from the Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole, 560 miles away. They were the first American married couple to make the trek.

Visit the Fagans’ website at


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.