Northwest Passage Row Continues as Solo Endeavor

This summer, Matty Clarke and Adam Riley set out to row the Northwest Passage in a single season from west to east. Each would use a small kayak that you rowed rather than paddled.

On June 29, they left from near the town of Tuktoyaktuk in Canada’s Northwest Territories. By July 15, they had covered 370km, and their brief social media posts sounded upbeat.

The proposed route through the Northwest Passage.

The proposed route. Photo: Over The Top


“Been picking up the pace and logging more miles per day. So far, the weather has been very mild but the winds have not been in our favor. Hoping for some tailwinds soon! Spirits are high here with the team and we are feeling very good about our odds of making it to the finish line,” they wrote.

Now, only two weeks later, things have fallen apart. Adam Riley has torn the labrum in his shoulder and is unable to continue. Matty Clarke plans to continue solo while Riley stays in the Arctic to support him with logistics.

Adam , left, and Matty Clarke.

Adam Riley, left, and Matty Clarke. Photo: Instagram

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.