Adventure Photo of the Week: Arctic Kayak Rappel

Arctic adventurers Sarah McNair-Landry and Erik Boomer have spent the past several seasons building a reputation for multi-sport expeditions.

Rarely have we seen their various disciplines so directly interconnected.

When the two explorers found a “shortcut” while hunting for an arctic river to paddle, they found themselves forced into a unique access point.

First, according to Boomer, they sought to rappel off the glacier to the meltwater below. Letting gravity do the work, as they say, they also opted to lower a boat on rappel.

Then, for unclear reasons, the pair had to retreat back up the glacier wall. Boomer added that since he and McNair-Landry had already lowered their gear to the water, they needed to haul it back out, too.

The presumably impromptu “retreat” marked a milestone for Boomer.

“This would be my first lead on ice,” he wrote on Instagram.


True to his adaptive form, though, Boomer talked about the ascent later in terms that reveal a strong grasp of concept.

“I fixed the line and used Micro Traxions to climb it once first to make sure it was good for me before pulling the rope and committing. Managing the summer sun heat on the ice screws was tricky even at night, but I carved out a big horn of ice to sling as the main backup,” he said via direct message.

It’s a new experience gained for Boomer and McNair-Landry, plus an enchanting capture — if not a signature descent.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.