The Northwest Passage

Mainstream Last First Route 2013

The Northwest Passage

On July 1st, 2013 we will embark on a traverse across the Northwest Passage, a route through the various islands of the Canadian archipelago that represented the crux to the mariners of yore attempting to navigate a sea route across the top of the world. Our route takes us from Inuvik, NWT through Tuktoyaktuk, NWT to Pond Inlet, Nunavut. We’re very specific on these two locations as, in our mind, they represent the start and finishing points of the ice maze that confounded mariners looking for a northern sea route from Europe to the Orient.

The explorers of past would round the southern tip of Greenland and head north looking for an entry west. Henry Hudson thought it was at the southern end of Baffin Island. He was wrong and stumbled upon the enormous inland sea that would later bear his name. Others would find countless dead-ends until finally the mouth of Lancaster Sound was revealed as the entry to the Passage.

When Roald Amundsen made the first successful crossing of the Northwest Passage from East to West in 1903-06 he finished by anchoring near Herschel Island at the mouth of the Mackenzie River (a short distance from Inuvik, NWT today) and skied 800 kilometres to the city of Eagle, Alaska, to send a telegram announcing his success at making it through the Northwest Passage.

Our route takes us through 3000kms of the infamous ice strewn Northwest Passage. We hope to make this traverse solely under human power in a row boat, without sail or motor, in a single season all to bring awareness to the profound changes climate change is having on the arctic.