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I'll say one thing. You guys have really put it on the line. The weather and river crossings will be the greatest challenges with the risk of hypothermia, compounded by inevitable exhaustion from very long days. Even if successful, it sounds like it will be miserably uncomfortable. I just hope that with all this hype and publicity beforehand, ego doesn't pressure you to take stupid risks. Knowing when to back off is the mark of experience.

Ryan Jordan

There is some risk involved. The Appalachian Trail this is not.

Publicity really won't matter much when we leave Point Hope and begin taking our first steps east. It's sort of a different ballgame of decision making when it's you that's hopping the tussocks and swimming the rivers.

"Backing off" this route means "taking a different route than planned", which is always an option. It's just that you can't "walk back to the car" in this area. Heck, you can't even hitch to town to grab a pizza.

Pregnancy and childbirth are also miserably uncomfortable but there are intrinsic rewards about it that not everyone can understand or appreciate. I'm hoping to find some of those types of rewards in this journey.

David Manise


I'm a survival instructor. I grew up in Quebec. This is some other cold, wild and beautiful place with lots of mosquitoes in late june and july ;)

From where I sit, you guys look like experienced outdoor people with quite a lot of "cojones", but still the required ammount of humility and respect for the land. That's usually a successful mix.

Finding water shouldn't be a big problem (lol). As far as hypothermia is concerned, with drybags and dry quilts, and your shelters, and eventually fire, you should always be ok in summer. Walking or even swimming in 6-10°C water for a few minutes is no big deal if you're warm at the moment you get in, and if you can walk out of it and go on. Most kids from where I come from in Quebec actually play in that kind of water all summer long with no ill effect. It takes many long minutes to get really cold in the wet stuff.

Just one thing with water, though : Don't ever underestimate the power of flowing water. It'll carry you pretty much harmlessly if you can keep your head out... until you meet an obstacle ;)

I'll be keeping an eye on you guys. I guess I'm jalous ;) I'm sure you'll have a great, albeit rough time. And rewards will find you of you don't find them ;)

If there is anything I can do to help, please feel free to e-mail me. It'll be my pleasure.

Cheers !



Ryan, can you elaborate a little more on the strategy you plan to use in crossing the rivers? Sans shoes? Are you guys stripping down to your base layers? Thanks.

Ryan Jordan


Our strategy is a simple one.

Swim fast.

Shoes on, sure. Feet are going to be wet the whole time anyways.

Inflate the drybag before crossing: then you're pack becomes a boat. Sort of. Maybe more like a raft. A really little tiny raft. Or at least, a kickboard?

I've swam the upper Yellowstone (near where it flows into Yellowstone Lake) in June twice. Both times, it was a muddy, scary sluicebox with logs, ice, and other assorted debris. And big. A hundred yards wide both times where I crossed. One time, I wore a 1 mm Neoprene suit. It worked great. The second time, I wore - in the water - a merino wool shirt (Smartwool) and a pair of the Sahale 1.6 oz polypropylene tights (I'll have these on this trip as well). This getup obviously didn't work as well as the neoprene, but it was far lighter and took enough of the cold "edge" off to allow me to cross the river and immediately start hiking to warm up (which I did, after about an hour of running), which means I about froze to death.

Off to Kotzebue now, more soon...!

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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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