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Ray Zahab Baffin Island run 2014

Posted: Feb 23, 2014 09:43 pm EST


(By Correne Coetzer) Recovered after running 2000+ km across the Gobi Desert last year, Canadian Ultra runner, Ray Zahab, is working on a “smaller" Baffin Island project. Also on the agenda is his and i2P's next youth expedition to the Atacama this May, studying Origins of the Universe, he tells ExplorersWeb.


In the high Canadian Arctic, Ray will be joined by Ryan Grant, Stefano Gregoretti and Ferg Hawke to attempt an unsupported crossing of Baffin Island at the Akshayuk Pass and then continue on the ice to Pangnirtung in 48 hrs or less.


"Our goal is to leave Ottawa March 6, head up to Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut, do some filming there interviewing friends that live up there, etc. Then 48 hour crossing of Akshayuk Pass, and continue onto ice into Pangnirtung. Then will spend time in Pang and Iqaluit filming for a free archive for students, which will be available after editing,” explains Ray.


The distance is 100 km along Akshayuk Pass plus 40 or so km into Pangnirtung on ice. “We shall do our best to run with 50 pound sleds and we will be self contained."


About the shoes and clothes, Ray explains, "Shoes start out with inov-8 Roclite 286, then layer up with Neos if it gets really cold, with Kahtoolas if needed. Same set-up as Kev [Kevin Vallely] and I used in Siberia on our winter unsupported run of the length of Lake Baikal."


How is this different from or similar as the previous three times Ray has made this crossing, ExWeb wants to know. "I have crossed 3 times, fastest was around 27 hours. All 3 crossings (including 1 with an i2P Youth Team!) have been in Arctic summer or fall. This time its winter."


What does he like about Baffin Island? "I love the Arctic. I am a Canadian and always share with anyone that asks - "Where is the most beautiful place you've been?" Well, I'm fortunate to experience and visit many extraordinary places, but Baffin is especially beautiful to me, and I have many friends in the Arctic that I can't wait to see again!"


“Ray added that this May a group of 5 i2P Youth Ambassadors will head into the Atacama Desert and run 250 km section of his original 1200 km route he ran through the Atacama. "They will study astronomy through a curriculum titled Origins of the Universe, activities will include live video conferencing with thousands of students, uploading of content each day by youth team to a live website, navigating sometimes at night with a sextant, and visiting a brand new observatory!" 


"During the Baffin Expedition we will be selling Akshayuk Pass tee shirts, with 100% of the profits going to the Atacama Youth Team expenses. All i2P Youth Expeditions are free for schools to participate, and there is no cost to the i2P Youth Ambassadors!"




Ray Zahab and Ferg Hawke Baffin Island 2012


ExWeb interview with Atacama Desert runner, Ray Zahab: I had two choices; keep going or stop. I chose to keep going


ExWeb interview with Ray Zahab: Organizing student involvement it is the most rewarding part


Ray Zahab’s pages:




impossible2Possible (i2P)


Ryan Grant:




Stefano Gregoretti:




Ferg Hawke:




#Polar #RayZahab #RyanGrant #StefanoGregoretti #FergHawke #BaffinIsland2014





Ray Zahab and Ryan Grant practicing what they aim to do on Baffin Island, running with sleds. Here they are also testing out custom Canada Goose jackets.
courtesy Ray Zahab, SOURCE
Ray testing his Canada Goose custom down pants.
courtesy Ray, SOURCE
Sorting gear for Baffin Island. "Shoes start out with inov-8 Roclite 286, then layer up with Neos if it gets really cold, with Kahtoolas if needed."
courtesy Ray Zahab, SOURCE