ARCATA, CALIFORNIA (September 28, 2011)—Kokatat ambassador Erik Boomer and Jon Turk recently became the first team to successfully circumnavigated Ellesmere Island, the northern most island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and the world’s tenth largest island. Boomer and Turk skied, paddled, and trekked over 1,500 miles over 104 days before completing their journey on August 19th.
“The circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island is one of the most complex and physically demanding polar expeditions in modern times,” said Boomer. “It was reassuring to know that with all the uncertainty of weather and the terrain changes of firm ice, slush ice, and open water, that we could depend on our Kokatat gear to keep us dry, comfortable, and safe.”
Kokatat equipped the expedition with Ronin Pro and OutFIT Tour personal flotation devices (PFDs) and its legendary GORE-TEX® TecTOUR Anoraks to keep the team warm, dry, and protect them in the cold and hostile Arctic waters.
On May 7 the team launched from Grise Fiord, the only civilian settlement on Ellesmere. For the first six weeks Boomer and Turk traveled on skis, pulling their kayaks. In late June they navigated a kaleidoscope of interlocking floes, before encountering a stretch of unstable ice along the northeast coast,
where Ellesmere and Greenland squeeze together. For almost three weeks the team made little headway, before the water began to open up and they were able to don their Kokatat PFDs and dry tops and paddle the last 500 miles in walrus, polar bear and ice-congested polar seas.
For a complete recap of the expedition visit Turk’s blog at http://www.jonturk.net/content/Blog.