Firefighters Dream of Ice and a Northwest Passage Record

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On July 18th, two Canadian firefighters, Sebastien Lapierre and Olivier Giasson, departed from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, for Igloolik, Nunavut, in their tandem kayak — paddling 3500km toward their dream of becoming the first team to kayak the Northwest Passage in a single season.

Over the course of the RÊVE DE GLACE expedition, translated as “Dreams of Ice,” Giasson and Lapierre will need to traverse the icy waters in less than 80 days in order to reach their destination before the sea freezes. They will travel approximately 45km per day in their tandem kayak, stopping at various Inuit villages to re-supply.

The duo expects to encounter strong winds, raging seas, unpleasant weather, and potentially dangerous polar bears. But the pair are seasoned kayakers in the Arctic Circle. In 2012 they spent a month unassisted on the Greenland Icecap. After just one week into the trip, the team wrote on the RÊVE DE GLACE Facebook page, “The human body is a true machine, now capable of 12-hour kayak per day.”

Kokatat outfitted the expedition, equipping the kayakers with Gore-Tex dry suits, PFD’s and accessories, protecting them from the weather, but not necessarily from the polar bears.

As firefighters, the team has witnessed the savagery of accidental fire and has decided to raise funds for the Quebec Firefighters Foundation for burn victims. Donations can be made by sponsoring the trip by the kilometer or at a flat rate at the trip’s website.

For more information on the paddlers and their expedition visit www.revedeglace.ca.

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