Breaking the Cycle Yukon

Feb 27

Preparing for the adventure

Publiziert am 16:46
Dispatch created from email
Welcome to my first ExpeNews dispatch! This is how I plan to share news
from my forthcoming Breaking the Cycle Yukon expedition. I'll be off to
Whitehorse, Canada on 8th March and the journey will begin a few days after
that. If you've received this email it means you're already on my
newsletter database.

It's a great privilege to be able to cycle in such interesting and remote
parts of the world, but most people have no idea how much effort it takes
to even get there in the first place. Always before a major expedition,
like Breaking the Cycle Yukon, it gets pretty crazy just before setting
off, with a seemingly endless 'to do' list.
Here's a little about the expedition.

Expedition Overview
Breaking the Cycle Yukon will be a 4-week extreme cold training expedition
through the Canadian Arctic. Working with local expert Bob Daffe, who has
been exploring and guiding in Yukon for more than 40 years, I will follow a
cross-country route of approximately 1000km from Eagle Plains (or Fort
McPherson) on the Dempster Highway to Old Crow, Herschel Island on the
Beaufort Sea and east to Aklavik and Fort McPherson near the MacKenzie
River Delta. This route is very adaptable because it is difficult to
predict how much distance I can cycle each day due to variable weather and
snow conditions.

Why undertake this extreme challenge?
I have set myself this challenge to test the equipment and clothing systems
I plan to use in Antarctica and hone my own skills for riding in extreme
cold conditions in the soft snow. However, Breaking the Cycle Yukon is
going to be a unique, major expedition in it's own right. No one has ever
cycled in this remote part of the world. I am very keen to explore the
region, meet some of the local Vuntut Gwitchin people in Old Crow and learn
about some of the culture and traditions, see wildlife (caribou, arctic
foxes, maybe even polar bears) and witness some spectacular evening
displays of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

Testing equipment and clothing
Steve Christini has just finished making a third, slightly improved version
of his all-wheel drive fatbike. I will be trialling the use of a special
short ski that will be positioned either side of the front wheel (think
paddle steamer formation). The ski will add extra flotation over the soft
snow. It will have an adjustable height as it will only be needed when the
wheel sinks too deep into the snow. It will also be totally removable for
when it is not needed - and in case it doesn't work.
Cycling through snow is incredibly hard work - about as tough as it gets.
An added difficulty cycling in the extreme cold is to manage moisture
because if I perspire and then stop to rest, any sweat freezes. When this
happens next to the skin, it is a real problem because it could lead to
cold damage (frost nip, even frost bite and hypothermia) and it draws
energy away from the body. The art of polar travel is to manage the body
temperature by wearing the right combination of wind-resistant but
breathable layers that also wick moisture away so that it does not freeze
against the skin. I need to refine these clothing systems during the
expedition. Thanks to Mont Australia, Velocio, The Heat Company, Julbo,
45NRTH, Revelate Designs and Wilderness Wear, I have plenty of options to

How the expedition will work
This is likely to be a 26-day journey. After preparing all equipment, food
and clothing in Whitehorse, Bob and I, will drive 700km to Dawson City.
From there I will begin a four day acclimatisation ride of
approximately 400km along the Dempster Highway, an 'all-weather' (gravel)
road to Eagle Plains (or possibly Fort McPherson). There we will be joined
by expedition filmmaker, Claudio von Planta, and Bob's wife Theresa and the
team will begin the cross-country journey; I'm obviously cycling and the
rest of the team travelling on snowmobiles.
Internet connectivity will be limited to only when in remote settlements
like Old Crow, Aklavik and Fort McPherson. To communicate during the rest
of the journey we will carry satellite communications and tracking
equipment to relay messages and send images for everyone to follow.

I'm starting to get quite excited however, as usual, there is still so much
to pull together to prepare.
  • Name: Home office Melbourne
  • Höhe: 55 m
  • Breitengrad: 37° 4831South
  • Längengrad: 145° 134East


  • Report as abuse...
    2017-03-10 18:30:39 Gary Schultz says: Victorian students are enjoying following your journey, virtually connect and talk to you about your next steps. Fantastic that the bike has arrived and all together. We look forward to the next 'live cross' back to Australia.
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-03-09 18:25:01 Greg Yeoman says: Hi Kate, Sounds like a fantastic warm up (in a chilly way) for the Big One. Go well. Look forward to more reports. Greg
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-03-03 14:03:40 Dick F says: Your perspiration is our inspiration. The former will hopefully be wicked away; the latter will endure forever
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-02-28 09:36:57 Anne & Peter says: Safe travels Kate. What amazing sights you are going to see. Will be interested to see how the ski outriggers perform. Hope the weather will be kind, and that you learn lots about your equipment. Cheers for now.
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-02-27 22:08:09 Diane and Philip says: Another challenging, exciting expedition Kate. If only we might join you, revelling in those stimulating temperatures, deep snow and pristine landscapes. How is your French, German and Tagalog? We will no doubt see you before you leave. xx
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-02-27 20:10:16 Mike Mac Aleavey says: Kate , Wish you a great journey . I worked at Whitehorse Airport in 1967 ,before computers and we had to weigh every passenger , the aircraft were DC 6 4 Propellor plane ! I remember how stunning the Yukon was . Cheers Mike

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