07.05.2011– Easley, S.C. – Wilderness Systems and Adventure Technology are 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 and Adventure Technology wish him a full and speedy recovery.
About Wilderness Systems:
Innovative designs tuned for performance, premium outfitting, and superlative quality have aligned Wilderness Systems boats with the most acclaimed paddling experiences in the world. Since 1986, Wilderness Systems has pushed the limits of design and innovation, by refusing to compromise. A Wilderness Systems kayak offers the ultimate in performance and design for the recreational boater to the expedition paddler. Taking that same drive into the angling market, Wilderness Systems fishing kayaks exemplify the ultimate experience for anglers. For the times you can't be on water, experience Wilderness Systems at www.wildernesssystems.com.
About Adventure Technology:
In 1993, an idea for the first, whitewater-specific, ergonomic paddle was born. That idea grew into Adventure Technology (AT), a paddle maker who doesn't seek to "balance" adventure with technology, but rather seeks to push both concepts to the outer limits. AT now delivers premium whitewater and touring paddles known for excellence in design, craftsmanship and innovation. In 2009, AT joined the rest of the Confluence Watersports family in Easley, S.C., to continue its legacy of dedicated research and development, all in the name of a good adventure. www.atpaddle.com
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