This coming January, Martina Halik and her mother Tania are planning to embark on a journey so vast, it can only be described as an adventure of a lifetime.
From Squamish, BC to Skagway AK, the two hope to travel 2,300 km on skis across a vast and rarely explored wilderness, which includes 15 major icefields and 12 large river valleys
That’s six months through BC’s Coast Range, over the largest temperate-latitude icecaps in the world. In the middle of winter.
“There will be storms. Crazy biblical mountain tempests like you saw in documentaries about Everest as a kid,” writes Martina on the Coast Mountain Epic website. “Our packs will be way too heavy. There will be crevasses, avalanches, sketchy river crossings and bushwhacking through devil’s club and hawthorn when the snowpack gets too low. There will be an almost incomprehensible amount of mountain terrain between Squamish B.C and our goal in Skagway A.K.”
Few areas outside Antarctica and the northern Arctic offer the same degree of pristine glaciated mountain wilderness and opportunity for adventure. The duo hopes to inspire audiences with coverage of these vast and endangered glaciers, ancient groves of old growth cedars and an area currently under threat by numerous industries including hydro, mining and logging.
“By documenting this journey, we hope to bring an increased awareness of this unique land and its value, to both local and international communities,” continues Martina. “The preservation of this vast and pristine mountain wilderness that is the Coast Mountains is a concern for all Canadians. It is our hope that by documenting this landscape we can inspire others to take an interest in, and form their own opinions on preserving our wild areas.
“We are being realistic,” she explains. “This experience will bring out the best and worst in us. We will fight some personal demons. We are up against some incredible elements and logistics; there is just no way we can spend an entire winter traversing the Coast Mountains without suffering. It will be a wickedly hard challenge, but it will also be stunningly beautiful, fun, and absolutely worth it.”
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