On 26th January 2018 Richard Harpham, Simon Reed and Matt Harpham will depart for the Yukon to ski 600 miles unsupported from Mayo in the Yukon Territories to Norman Wells in the North West Territories braving Canada’s Arctic climate. Their route will follow the late Alex Van Bibber’s historic 1943 Canoil expedition which was part of the war effort to find a new oil supply route after the Japanese had landed on the Aleutian Islands. The original expedition led by Alex took 42 days with the team surviving on meager rations and temperatures at -40 below.
The team are no stranger to adventures in this region having canoed the Yukon River previously, kayaked, hiked and packarafted from Juneau to Whitehorse via the infamous Chilkoot Trail and both Simon and Richard have competed in the 444 mile Yukon River Quest. This expedition will see Richard reach a personal milestone of 10,000 miles of human powered adventures by canoe, kayak, bike and on foot. For former Royal Marine, Simon it will be a welcomed return to the Yukon since he last competed in the Yukon Arctic Ultra, a 400 mile race where he placed 2nd.
The project has taken 3 years to mobilize since the team initially met and interviewed Alex Van Bibber, Canada’s most decorated outdoorsman at his home in 2014 in the Yukon. Their time has been filled with testing and selection of kit, recruitment and training and of course finding sponsors. Recent winter temperatures in this remote wilderness have been colder than either polar region so the team are prepared for unforgiving conditions. Each day the team aim to ski 15-20 miles pulling their food and equipment unsupported through the Mackensie Mountain Range wilderness.
The Ski to the Edge team are raising money for the Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) Award Scheme and the Alex Van Bibber Memorial Fund to raise funds to help young people develop life and outdoor skills. Closer to home Rich and the Canoe Trail team are an are approved activity provider for the D of E helping young people develop their adventurous side. Larger donations and corporates can benefit from sponsor logos and signed pictures from the expedition as well as corporate talks.
Please donate to our fundraising for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
The Expedition has been endorsed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the world’s greatest living explorer who said:
“I wish the ski to the edge team all the success and luck in support of their ski expedition. I was truly interested to hear about Alex’s great journey in 1943 which was truly trail blazing. In spite of advances in technology make no mistake this expedition represents a tough challenge operating at the limits of human endeavour in one of the last great wilderness areas.”
Sir Ran Fiennes
This week one of the coldest places on the planet was Watson Lake in the Yukon at minus 45 C before windchill . The team are heading to Noway early Jan 2018 for a final training session as well as fitness and endurance sessions. Rich will be presenting the D of E Awards at St James Palace on 17th Jan 2018 and will also be MC’ing the water sports pool at the London Boat Show from 10th – 14th Jan 2018.
You can follow the team live on social media with their tracker, blog and updates via sat phone. www.richadventure.com