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Wilderness Systems Sponsors Ellesmere Expedition
Jul 05, 2011Wilderness Systems is proud to support the Ellesmere Expedition. In the spirit of adventure, two men set out on a mission to circumnavigate Ellesmere Island, one of the nearest islands to the North Pole. The expedition began in May and is expected to take the whole of the summer, wrapping up in August. Wilderness Systems kayaks and Adventure Technology paddles will be essential to the kayaking leg of this momentous undertaking, which will be a 500-mile home stretch to Grise Fijord.
This is the first ever attempt to circumnavigate Ellesmere Island. The team includes Jon Turk (writer and adventurer) and Erik Boomer (photographer and kayaker). Their vast collected experience and varied backgrounds will be critical to the expedition, which will include kayaking, skiing and snow kiting.
“Even in summer, with temperatures forecasted to range from the low teens to the low ‘60s [Fahrenheit], the Arctic constantly challenges the most basic human necessity: the ability to survive,” said Jon Turk. “Central to survival is the reliability and performance of our gear. We spent the winter challenging our equipment in brutal Montana conditions. The result is full confidence in our gear. With humility and an unvarying respect for the conditions we're about to face, we also leave with confidence in our planning and in ourselves.”
Ellesmere Island is 1,422 miles in circumference, the world's 10th largest island. It is in the far north of the Arctic Ocean with an inhospitable winter climate and a total population of 146 (according to a 2006 survey). The crux of the expedition will be paddling and traversing the north coast. Unsheltered by other landmasses, the north coast in summer is an unstable landscape of moving ice, jagged pressure ridges and the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf.
“This expedition is an inspiring adventure in the truest sense,” said Cheri McKenzie, CMO of Confluence Watersports, parent company to Wilderness Systems and Adventure Technology. “There are few places as challenging to human existence and as punishing to the gear the team will rely upon. Jon and Erik are visionaries who methodically and passionately set out to achieve their dreams and explore the world in the process. This is the same spirit that drives both Wildy and AT. We're proud and excited to be part of this incredible journey.”
Team Dagger athlete and filmmaker, Tyler Bradt, was originally part of the team; however, he is recuperating from a broken L-1 vertebra. Wilderness Systems wishes him a full and speedy recovery.