2012 EXPEDITION OF THE YEAR: ELLESMERE CIRCUMNAVIGATION
JON TURK AND ERIK BOOMER
Award presented by expedition legend, Scott Lindgren.
THE MISSION: Ski and kayak 1,500 miles around Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic
THE CRUX: 17 days trapped by shifting sea ice
EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES: Extreme weather, unpredictable ice, curious polar bears
THE FINE PRINT: Turk experienced kidney failure just hours after completing the historic circumnavigation
Jon Turk and Erik Boomer were an unlikely team to ski and sea kayak 1,500 miles around a remote arctic island. To start with, they barely knew each other. Turk was 65, a veteran arctic and sea kayak adventurer; Boomer was 26, a world-class whitewater paddler who had sat in a sea kayak just once before. And they started the trip a man down after the friend that introduced them, Paddler of the Year nominee Tyler Bradt, pulled out of the trip after breaking his back on a 100-foot waterfall. On the ice though, none of that seemed to matter. This seeming odd couple found common cause in their love of the outdoors, their cool-headed optimism, and gritty toughness.