7 April 2007

Welcome to Nunavut. Late this morning SnowSTAR crossed the NWT-Nunavut boundary and is now in Nunavut. Kids you can read about Canada's newest Territory by clicking on the Nunavut Flag below.

The team is also crossing through another important border area--the dividing line between the Boreal Forest and Tundra ecosystems. You will see something called "the treeline" marked on your map. Until now, SnowSTAR has been traveling in forested country, but as they cross the treeline there are fewer and fewer trees and the land turns to Tundra. Today, as they traveled up the Dease River, there were fewer and fewer trees but the snow got deeper and deeper. They are no longer on any kind of trail. Todays temperatures were warm and breaking trail in deep soft snow made for slow going. A bigger concern, however, is that the deep snow has caused the snowmobiles to burn more gas than expected and fuel supplies for reaching Kugluktuk are being stretched thin.

Our Satellite call this evening was very short. No soundclips were recorded and no dispatch was received by email. The guys had obviously had a very long day. Matthew reported the location of Camp 23 as: 67 12'N and 117 15'W. Distance traveled today was 89km. They will be taking a VERY close inventory of their gas supplies tonight, re-calculating the distance to Kugluktuk, and re-visit their options for moving forward tomorrow. They are currently about 80 miles from Kugluktuk and about 40 miles from the well-travelled trails leading in to town. One possibility being discussed is getting the entire group a bit closer to town tomorow and then pooling their remaining gas to send two of the crew on in to Kugluktuk to bring back additional gas for the rest of the team. Finding gas pumps that are open on Easter weekend might be their biggest challenge..........




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