Arctic Update: A Unique Honeymoon

In our latest arctic roundup, Will Steger has set off on his second solo attempt into the Barren Lands, and Vincent Colliard and Caroline Cote complete an impressively fast ski expedition around Bylot Island.

Baffin Island

Louis Nethercott and Anthony Lambert were attempting to cross Baffin Island for the final leg of their “Expedition 5” project — unsupported crossings of the world’s five largest islands. They didn’t make a full traverse of Baffin Island but did ultimately reach the east coast.

The pair hit difficulties trying to access the interior of the island and appear to have instead returned back west to pick up Inuit snowmobile trails, which they followed east.

Their claim to be “the first humans in history to have traversed the five largest islands…only using human power” would require a very liberal definition of what makes a traverse, but there’s no doubting that they’ve shown resilience. According to their latest post, their Baffin Island journey involved 450km of manhauling.

At last word, Nethercott and Lambert were waiting in the Inuit settlement of Pangnirtung for a flight home to the UK.

Bylot Island

Vincent Colliard and his partner, Caroline Cote, have completed a rather unique honeymoon. The pair decided on an 18-day, unsupported ski expedition around Bylot Island in the Canadian Arctic. During those 18 days, they covered an impressive 475km, averaging 26km per day.

This is the second known circumnavigation of Bylot Island. A party of four first did the journey five years ago.

Polar bear tracks. Photo: Vincent Colliard

The Barren Lands

Veteran explorer Will Steger is heading into Canada’s Barren Lands on a 1,600km solo expedition. Steger’s canoe/sled expedition kicked off on April 30 and he is making good progress along the Hood River.

At 77, Steger put in 10 hours of work and covered roughly 18 miles yesterday. He reports warm temperatures, around 20°C, and beautiful ice along the river. His last Barren Lands journey fizzled out, and there’s a long way to go in this projected 70-day expedition, but “so far, so good.”

Devon Island

Canadians Dave Garrow, Frank Wolf, and John McClelland are heading off on a 310km ski tour to explore the North Water Polynya, an area of open water in Baffin Bay.

The team flew to Ellesmere Island on May 1 and plan to begin their journey on May 5. The expedition has a scientific element, collecting data on this biologically important region.

A map of Wolf, Garrow, and McClelland’s route. Photo: Frank Wolf

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a writer and editor for ExplorersWeb.

Martin has been writing about adventure travel and exploration for over five years.

Martin spent most of the last 15 years backpacking the world on a shoestring budget. Whether it was hitchhiking through Syria, getting strangled in Kyrgyzstan, touring Cambodia’s medical facilities with an exceedingly painful giant venomous centipede bite, chewing khat in Ethiopia, or narrowly avoiding various toilet-related accidents in rural China, so far, Martin has just about survived his decision making.

Based in Da Lat, Vietnam, Martin can be found in the jungle trying to avoid leeches while chasing monkeys.