Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On Thin Ice – Erik Boomer and Jon Turk

Rating – ****

Ellesmere Island is an island about the size of Great Britain, except that it is mountainous, covered in snow and ice, and home to just 146 people year-round. And that’s in August, too. So why would anyone want to circumnavigate this frozen land in kayaks, where the slightest loss of balance could result in hypothermia or drowning, over the course of 104 days? Jon Turk and Erik Boomer would answer that question with another: Why not? Because that’s just what this article is about: their emotions, doubts, and fears that they couldn’t discuss on the ice, because their decision to circumnavigate the island was even more intense that their feelings.  

This article is a question and answer between the two men who made the trip, where they ask the other about their thoughts during some of the more unique moments of the trip. This article gives readers a chance to learn what serious adventurers think about when the route ahead looks bad, but turning back looks worse. It also lets you realize what goes on in their heads, such as their thoughts about their teammate or what it was like when a white wolf tailed them for several days.

This article was really interesting because it wasn’t a narrative like many other articles about adventures of this scale are, but was instead a chance to look into the mind of one of these adventurers, and find out what drives them to do this. But this article also told us about some of the high points of the trip, as well as the preparation that was needed for an expedition longer than 100 days in Canada’s arctic. Preparation such as carrying 50 days worth of food, and that might not be enough to last them until the next food cache if the weather was rough. But it was enough, and they eventually made it all of the 2414 kilometres around the island.

 Boomer, Erik, and Jon Turk. “On Thin Ice.”Adventure Kayak Spring 2012: 36 – 40 + 61.

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