Ousland, Colliard Cross Devon Island Ice Cap

Borge Ousland and Vince Colliard have completed their crossing of the ice cap on Devon Island, in the Canadian High Arctic.

The crossing is part of their long-term project to traverse the world’s 20 largest ice caps. The Devon Island crossing marks their 10th ice cap.

It took the pair seven-and-half days to complete the 170km. They started near Dundas Harbour, an abandoned Royal Canadian Mounted Police station, first built in the 1920s. It was built to add a police presence to strengthen Canadian claims of the region’s then-unresolved sovereignty.

They finished at the Sverdrup Glacier at the north end of Devon Island, from which a friend conveyed them by sailboat to the village of Grise Fiord, about 70km away on Ellesmere Island.

“The biggest challenge wasn’t to cross the icecap but to organize the logistics to get to such a remote area,” they wrote on social media. Devon Island is the world’s largest uninhabited island and lies almost 2,000km from the nearest road.

Jerry Kobalenko

Jerry Kobalenko is the editor of ExplorersWeb. One of Canada’s premier arctic travelers, he is the author of The Horizontal Everest and Arctic Eden, and has just finished a book about adventures in Labrador. In 2018, he was awarded the Polar Medal by the Governor General of Canada and in 2022, he received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for services to exploration.