From there, Brian Wilmshurst has agreed to truck us to Inuvik in the Northern Territories from where we will be flying to Herschel Island to start our replication of Amundsen’s journey.
Brian’s passion is dog sledge racing, he has competed in the Iditarod and Yukon Quest races both of which are famous 1000 mile endurance races.
The road to Inuvik is the Dempster Highway, as seen in the TV series “Ice Road Truckers”. Everything in Northern Canada and Alaska is always weather dependent, often the best laid plans have to be altered to accommodate it.
After we fly to Herschel Island the initial area in which we will be travelling through is the 10,000 sq. kilometer Ivvavik National Park owned by the Inuvialuit People who live in Aklavik and Inuvik.
The Yukon River at Eagle has finally frozen over enough to be safe to travel on. This year has been the latest in living memory that it has taken for it to freeze. Now that it finally has Wayne is out making training runs with the dogs to get them fit for our expedition.
A little about the dogs we are using for the expedition. There are different types of huskies, the ones that we will be using are all Alaskan Huskies that Wayne has bred himself.
We will be using 22 dogs that will pull three sledges. A husky can roughly pull its own weight. The dogs weigh approximately 70 lbs each so with 7 dogs to each sledge they can pull a 490 lb sledge. The extra dog is a spare in case of injury, like an ankle sprain. Most of the weight we carry is dog food, the rest of the load is camping equipment, emergency equipment and our own food. The dogs are working for seven hours a day with rests every couple of hours.
All the dogs have had rabies shots, vet checks and be de-wormed so that they don’t spread disease to the wildlife. There are, Caribou, Musk Ox, and more than 3000 Wolves in the area, which need to be protected from the risk of potential disease from domestic animals.
Here is the link to a short film we have made that gives an outline of the expedition. The link is also up on the front page of our web site.
Wishing you a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS.