The thought of camping in Polar Bear terrain, by itself, is enough to make any skilled adventurer hesitate.
World-renowned as the most powerful, sometimes feared, but always respected, hunters of the Great White North; the mighty polar bear is just one of the many obstacles that the team of expedition AKOR must face on their daunting journey.
Add to this skin-freezing temperature, no shelter, no campfires, and hauling around a 300-pound sled behind you day after day, and you can start to picture the task that Näak’s professional expedition team has been faced with.
It’s worth mentioning, as well, that this is only the first part of their 7-month journey!
The team is facing their record-breaking attempt of the longest North-South crossing of Canada, and they are officially on the move, 10 days into their incredible expedition.
The men have begun adjusting to the extreme environment. Physical and mental changes are quick to happen in the Arctic desert!
The entire trip will cover 7,600 km, roughly 19% of the earth’s circumference, powered only by ski, bike, and canoe.
No Fires, No Heat Sources, Only The Human Body
Temperature management remains at the core of their thoughts, with the frigid Arctic air proving to be much more humid than expected.
This humidity in the air could result in the penetration of their clothes, chilling them right to the bone. When usually, this would be a very uncomfortable position to be in; for these men, it could result in injury or worse.
Without nightly fires to dry themselves off, our explorers are heated simply by the warmth of their own bodies. Avoiding wet, soggy clothing could be the difference between life or death in an environment as unforgiving as the vast expanses of Nunavut's boundaries.
Exploring the Arctic area above the treeline means that there would simply be no wood to burn even if they could have fires.
Back-Breaking Days, On Repeat
The team is on skis for roughly 9 hours a day, crossing 18-20km of land, and they are making steady progress on their ability to cross the frozen tundra. The goal is to eventually travel 23 km per day, enabling them to finish the first segment of their expedition (Eureka, Nunavut, to Resolute, Nunavut) in a startling amount of time, only 40 days.
Besides the humid air, the weather has been on our explorers' side. They have, so far, experienced multiple days where they were able to indulge in the balmy temperatures of -25 C, even managing to remove their mittens for a short amount of time before frostbite had a chance to set in.
In the Northern hemisphere, the hours of sunshine stretch across most of the day with the arrival of warmer summer weather. Our team experiences darkness for only a few hours a night, just enough time to catch up on some much-needed rest.
And, Of Course, The Wildlife
While polar bear sightings have, thankfully, been out of reach thus far into the trip, the team has encountered a few animal crossings.
Musk-ox and Arctic foxes have stumbled across the teams' path, leaving them in awe of the determination and resilience these animals face daily, surviving in one of the most unforgivable places on earth.
The adventure has just begun for these brave travellers, and we plan to keep everyone updated along the way to the best of our abilities.
Make sure to follow along on our social media accounts, @Naakbars to stay up to date with any breaking news and photos from expedition AKOR. Be sure to read more about the team on our previous Blog Posts.