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Comments

John Louviere

Roman, Jason, and Ryan--
What a fantastic and spectacular adventure that, I am sure I can speak for most everyone, I sincerely appreciate you all sharing with us. You have provided inspiration and insights that we would not have had otherwise.

Thank you!

SowthEfrikan

Who cares about records? Records get changed all the time. You sound as if, despite everything, you had a great time. Best of all, you are safe, sound and homeward bound. Thank you for taking us with you on this adventure.

NAL

Your trek and its coverage have given me a glimpse of places I will never visit, and an accompanying appreciation of the beauty and wildness of those places.

My thanks and congratulations to all of you.

Bruce Freifeld

Roman,
Here's a compliment you may have never heard-but I heard it through many conversations with my (and yours) dear friend Garvey-and I'm sure it applies to your colleagues Jason and Ryan.

I always asked Garvey-how do these guys do it?

To which he simply replied: "They know how to Suffer".

Great job guys,
Bruce Freifeld
NYC

tony

Roman, Jason and Ryan: you guys rule. 'Nuff said.

d.b. cooper

unsupported of course went out the window when your first friend got picked up, let alone your second friend. so don't sweat it, just don't try to claim anything. that is thanx for sharing your adventure. but if you do try to claim that you did a "record" all you will do being will be distracting from your own personal experience and opening yourself to comments from crack pots like me. once again thanx for sharing...

mike lancewicz

this whole journey is simply amazing,reading about your gear and the ultralight simplicity tactics you guys used for this trip is really cool and makes me think that my stuff is really heavy. way to go guys...you just pushed the limits of humans really. i met ryan jordan earlier this summer in the tetons and went on a boat ride with him and am currently employed by the NPS on the trails crew and will be spreading the word of all your lightweight ideals,they would greatly help trail crews across the world, and the amazing journey that you guys just completed..

Miguel Arboleda

i surely hope that this whole event will not just peter out like this and that you are all just taking a much-needed rest for now...there are so many questons about gear, techniques, and logistics that I have, besides wanting to see way more photos and hear a lot more stories.

Ryan Jordan

No worries, Miguel. We're just taking inventory and doing a post mortem now.

Mikey

Nicely-written press release. The words of a humility-seeker.

If a journalist hadn't been following the blog, he or she would think all three of you had walked the thousand km as it doesn't say who did or didn't finish.

No self-agrandization, eh?

Linda Williams

johny W. - Your uninformed comments are embarrassing to even read.

Ennis

This kind of thing happens when you blow too much smoke too publicly.

It\'s sad that the guy who only lasted a week is the one who\'s detracting from the genuine accomplishment of Roman and Jason. What an incredible feat by those men: men who are humble outdoorspeople rather than just trying to further their careers.

If I were trying to impress the world with my ability to travel through the wilderness, I would do it the Jardine way: Do it and THEN talk about it. When you let your actions speak for themselves, you don\'t need press releases.

tony

That's not exactly the way Jardine operates. He quietly does it in secret (not sure why), post results when he returns and then begs everyone to tell him how great he is for doing it.

Plus he does a great job at hiding his failures. Like on his recent artic walk.

cat

So Roman, we're hoping you'll do a presentation of the trip for us in Anchorage at APU!

Congrats to Arctic 1000!

Ben S

Ennis,

Sure - for an example of humility, measured action, and admirable lack of ego, Ray Jardine is the guy to look to.

Really.

I mean it.

Ask anyone.

Sigh.

Seriously, I think it took balls of steel to dream up this quest, publish it for the world to see and enjoy, and risk a more public failure. There's as much to learn from a failure as there is from a success, and if Jardine had failed and - based on your logic - never written about it, we'd all be poorer, right? Kudos to Ryan, Roman, and Jason for manning up and risking the failure that, for Ryan, was an unfortunate reality.

Ben

Roman Dial

700 miles is certainly not the limit of self-contained travel, nor is the Haul Road from Kivalina or Point Hope.

If one starts with a pack at the limit of carrying -- like a 100 pounds, which is the weight of a boned out moose quarter, which too many of us have carried 5 miles in a day -- then one could still squeeze out 35 miles a week until the pack drops below 80 pounds at which point 10-15 miles a day are possible until the pack gets to the 60 pound weight (which we could have carried 80 more miles than the 620 we did). Thus an additional 300 miles are likely possible with a more traditional, heavyweight Brooks Range pack, making 1000 miles and Kaktovik within the realm of possibility.

Indeed, 1000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail is certainly feasible in one bag of food by someone with a strong back, swift legs, and above all determination.

- Roman Dial

mopah

Many of us are still waiting for post game wrapup of gear, food etc. Please let us know what worked and what did not. What would you change if you could do over?
Mopah

Roman Dial

We are putting this together Mopah, but in short, I would have done very little differently, except perhaps taken a wider-angle lens (in addition to the zoom telephoto lens I brought) and fewer batteries for my camera. And worn the steel toe version of the Smartwool socks instead of the 100% wool Teko socks I wore through in three days.

I guess I would've suggested to Jason that he bring more chocolate bars, too (but he would've just laughed at me, like he did when I said I was bringing 45 Cadbury bars). He brought only six chocolate bars and looked longingly at the two to three a day I ate. I also would not have brought even the three small bags of Cheetoes (gagg) and four small bags Frito Corn Chips (yuk). I really liked Doritoes over those. I brought about 40 small bags of chips.

Roman Dial

guy

"700 miles is certainly not the limit of self-contained travel, nor is the Haul Road from Kivalina or Point Hope." funny, if one didn't know better they would assume that 700 miles, or 600 miles for that matter was hiked self-contained. not disagreeing that it can't be done (or that a longer such slog ain't possible), just stating the obvious, that it hasn't at least in this situation. hasn't someone skiied across greenland or the antartica self-contained? or at least by this versions defintion of self-contained?

Roman Dial

Guy, Yes people have done long trips across Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic Ocean, often self-contained (although usually flying out from one end and carrying sat phone/GPS, although the Norwegians have done trips without either of the last two pieces of equipment). However, these polar expeditions pull sleds of upwards of 200 to 300 pounds of gear, food, and fuel.

There is a vast difference (like double or triple the weight!) between what you can pull in a sled and what you can carry on your back. Our expedition did carry food and equipment on our backs in a self-contained manner for 600 miles.

Nevertheless I am curious of what your definition of self-contained is, as it clearly differs from mine.

The Arctic 1000 has its roots in a 25 year old race called the "Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic". The rules of this race are simple: start at point A (Kivalina) and finish at point B (Haul Road) carrying all the gear and food that you need without resupply. In the Wilderness Classic, sometimes people start as a team and finish as individuals. Other times they start as individuals and finish as a team. In either case, if you finish, you finish, irregardless of with whom you finish or do not finish. But "self-contained" means they start with the food and gear necessary for the duration. This is exactly what Arctic 1000 accomplished.

In the Wilderness Classic, just because someone in the race is pulled out by an airplane does not mean that the race failed. Similarly, just because a cyclist broke his leg this past weekend in the Tour de France and was transported to the hospital by ambulance does not mean that the Tour fails as a bicycle race, since a non-bicycle was used to take an injured party to help.

-Roman Dial

guy

yeah the sled thing does make it easier, though by the
same logic that carrying it on your back is "record"
deserving, guess someone soon will claim the longest
hike while carrying stuff on their head in a ceramic
pot-does that makes sense. Before I sound like to much
of a cranky old man, let me say your trip sounded like
a huge amount of effort-not trying to take away from
that. Its just when people make claims like a new
record or want or expect public admiration by having a
press release they open themselves up to the ethic
peanut gallery so to speak.
a)The tour de france does not claim to be
self-sufficent so your logic doesn't apply
B) lets take the classic though. if four people
started as a team and person A didn't carrying
anything and went ahead and when person b,c,and d
arrived he ate there food and then the most beat up of
b,c and d flew out, and than the next day the same
thing happened you could see how the planes were
supporting the effort for person a to win the race. it
thus is by defintion outside support. now if you could
claim that you never used anything from your partners
packs you would have case-but your not making that
claim, nor are you claiming that you didn't eat food
in a village a long the way-sorry roman, ya knew that
would haunt ya. the thing is when it comes down to it,
you went and had a great adventure, awsome. ethics
only come in when you tell someone about your
adventure and try make claims like first or record. If
you free climb el cap and you hang on one peice it is
no longer a free climb, so the food in the village of
course makes that logical point of support obvious.
The plane as support is more icky. Seems to me that
since you set out as a team to have no outside
support, that outside support to a single team member
also marks the unsupported thing out. guess not all
that relevant cause by the free climbing logic you had
already hung on a piece, but still of interest. hope
your feet have healed by now...

Roman Dial

Thanks Guy, good points, too. Especially the one about not taking Ryan out on our own. That was something that I honestly hadn't considered. To me we had three options: Ryan walks onward with us, we rest until he can go on, or Ryan flies out. It was Ryan's call.

But what if someone in the group had died, instead of injury. Then what? Is it a failure? If we buried him there, but continued on, is it unsupported? The first winter ascent of Denali had a death.They continued on and made the summit....was it a successful climb? Not everyone made it.

Many alpine style ascents of mountains all 'round the world involved using old fixed gear en route. Are these true alpine ascents? How about free climbs in Yosemite that use old pin scars....are they really free?

We could dissect the language climbers use like "redpoint" and "hangdog", point out their logical inconsistencies. What shall we say about hanging belays on free ascents of El Cap?

What of our own logical inconsistencies or purposeful ignorance? Even with the ambulance, the Tour is still a *bicycle* race, the logic of analogy still holds.

Often we use the knowledge that certain other people in the world exist to give us strength in a time of need during our "unsupported" trip -- does that mean we are actually "supported"? Two friends in near-death experiences relied on thoughts of loved ones to give them strength to survive -- would you not consider that support?

If we rely on anyone outside of our group for anything, anything at all, then are we "supported"? By that line of reasoning we firmly establish that the word "unsupported" can not exist in this context. Agreed.

And, yes, my feet are healed, but we could go further on the main issue. We could volly back and forth about missing our underlying points: you're put off by our style, but not so much so as to ignore it, and I'm satisfied with the style, yet feel compelled to defend it.

I could even elaborate on the Anaktuvuk burger....a satisfaction that reached beyond mere taste and was aimed purposefully at discussions such as these.....

Instead, I concede to your crankiness, yet ask again: draw the clear, unambiguous line on support vs. unsupported. Not by non-example ("icky burgers"), but by verbal terms and mental constructs that could be applied.

Someone else might want to make the first backwards, ceramic-pot carrying ascent of Mt. Everest unsupported and share it with cranky old farts reading it on the internet. Give them a little help here, Guy.

It seems to be as important to you as it was to us. And as active members of the same community, we must be willing to say what we mean and I have simply tried to mean what I say.

L. Kelso

Doesn't matter whether anyone set a record for anything. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with the public. It has been especially meaningful to read because I was vacationing in Alaska at the time you started, and had the opportunity to visit Prudhoe Bay. We traveled the Dalton Highway and visited Wiseman. So this reader has a bit of a sense of the terrain over which you traveled. Good job.

guy

Roman, well said, I mean written. Really it just comes down to the announcement of ones achivements. That is if you guys just did your things, even simply said, we hiked from here to here and didn't use words like unsupported or record, you would get the "respect" that you dully deserve. Its the claims that lead to the ethics. The ultimate solo is the one you don't tell anyone about, but for some inane human reason we see reconignation for our silly pursuits. Like an 7-year-old saying, "look what I can do." in the end we bring that same phrase into adulthood.
The alpine game is very funny, cause lots of todays super alpine climbs could not have been done if there were not fixed gear, piton scars, even fore knowledge from past parties. Even funnier when people climb part way alpine style, leave a cache and then try again and claim they did it alpine style, instead of the more correct, but less glorious expedition style that it truly was.Was gonna point that out earlier(about alpine climbing having funny rules), but felt I had enough pontication going.
Just glad we lived long enough to have these senseless, albiet enjoyable internet discussions. -thanx

shuksanblue

Thank you for sharing your adventure...Like most others I found the close encounters with the grizzlies to be fascinating...

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What is Arctic 1000?

    In June 2006, adventurers Roman Dial, Ryan Jordan, and Jason Geck will attempt the first unsupported trekking traverse of America's most remote wilderness - Alaska's western North Slope and Brooks Range - a distance of 1,000 km (600 miles).
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