18 January 2008: Fairbanks

Dave Andersen and Matthew Sturm met with Ronnie Owens of ARCUS. Ronnie is helping us get our website going. So far, my (Matthew's) daughter has designed the web site; Dave and Matthew have written the material, and Ronnie has figured out how to actually put the material on the web.

Making the web site has been fun, but is a little like the traverse....lots of hard work and a lot of dead-end trails that we have to back out of. We forgot to take a picture of our meeting with Ronnie, but we were happy to see he had 4 computer screens like a good web-programmer should. Since we have no pictures from today, below is another pretty picture from yesterday's snowmobile test ride.


18 January 2008: Toronto

Planning is proceeding on establishing the fuel cache near Hornby Point that will be required to complete the final leg of the traverse. This is not a simple endeavour, because this is a remote area not often accessed during the winter. The plan is relatively straightforward:

-purchase the fuel in the city of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

-truck the fuel north up the winter ice road from Yellowknife that services the northern mines. (www.diavik.ca/iceroad.htm). The road is not yet open, but should be operational in the next couple of weeks. (www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/roadConditions.aspx)

-we have arranged to “hotshot” the fuel from Yellowknife to the Diavik diamond mine (www.diavik.ca). “Hotshotting” means the fuel drums will be loaded on a small truck that has access to the ice road when the ice is still relatively thin, before the larger trucks are cleared for travel.

-the fuel will be stored at the mine until March. Thanks very much to Diavik for allowing us to use their facility for storage, and facilitating the fuel shipment!

-a twin otter aircraft from Air Tindi (www.airtindi.com) will fly to Diavik, and shuttle fuel both to the Daring Lake camp, and Hornby Point. One complication is that an aircraft equipped with both wheels and skis will need to be used. At Diavik, the twin otter will land on wheels, but at Daring Lake and the fuel cache, it will land on skis. The combination wheels/skis are heavier than aircraft that have only wheels or skis, so the range of the twin otter will be more limited than normal.

We are still working with Air Tindi to finalize these flights, but they are being very helpful in figuring out the most efficient way to tackle this issue. Obviously, this fuel cache is very important to the successful completion of the traverse!



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