News

Trekkers in deep freeze

Adventurers Evan Howard and John Cantor test their new down suits and sleeping bags in a freezer.
Adventurers Evan Howard and John Cantor test their new down suits and sleeping bags in a freezer. Contributed

HOW does a Sunshine Coaster prepare for a sub-zero Alaskan adventure? Spend a day at -27 degrees in an industrial freezer, of course.

Sunshine Beach adventurer John Cantor and fellow trekker Evan Howard, of Sydney, have done just that to test new down suits and sleeping bags that they will take on their trek.

They also survived the day on freeze-dried meals.

The two will set off on Friday for a two-week practice visit to the Brookes Ranges in Alaska to prepare for the more gruelling 1800km trek just before Christmas.

John endured severe health issues, swollen ankles and extreme loneliness to trek solo across 1600km in the Brookes Range in Alaska last June and July.

The adventure included a 1000km walk across the mountains and then a 600km raft down the Noatak River into Kotzebue Sound.

He became just the fifth documented person in history to complete the journey.

As if the 31-day summer quest was not challenging enough, John will return to the Ranges with Evan for a winter crossing in the reverse direction.

They will trek on skis instead of hiking boots and will drag sleds loaded with supplies. No rafting will be attempted this time as temperatures as low as -50 (not including the wind chill factor) mean the Noatak River will be frozen solid.

Much of the journey will be completed in the Northern Hemisphere's winter darkness. The extreme cold, the rugged countryside, and the long hours of darkness mean that a rescue in an extreme emergency would be almost impossible.

There will be some saving graces, though, including the breathtaking colours of the Northern Lights.

Follow the practice trip from Friday on Facebook by searching for "John Cantor".

>> NORTH TO ALASKA

Duration: Two weeks

Temperatures: Down to -50 degrees C (with wind-chill -90 degrees)

Supplies: 40kg on each sled (will be more for December trip)

Start: Anuktuvak Pass (pop. 361)

John's 6th time to Alaska, Evan's first trip to Alaska.

March is the best month to witness the Northern Lights.

Topics:  adventure, travel




Businesses demand rate freeze from Paul Pisasale

SLUGGED: Bruce Alvey from Alvey Reels is unhappy about the 15% rise in land rates.

80% increase worries local business

Council: "Give us an answer now"

GREYHOUNDS: Runners in race eight at Thabeban Park.Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

Logan in limbo over greyhound track proposal

Council invests in 16 new garbage trucks

Brisbane Truck Centre wins $6.38 million contract

Latest deals and offers

Three reasons your mind will be blown this week

Alan Dale and Jacki Weaver in a scene from the TV series Secret City.

THREE shows on Foxtel to make your mind boggle.

Elena wins MasterChef: “I’m ecstatic and eager to celebrate"

MasterChef Australia 2016 winner Elena Duggan, from Noosa.

NOOSA chefs survive marathon grand final dish by Heston Blumenthal.

Shannen Doherty shaves hair during cancer battle

Shannen Doherty has completely shaved off her hair

Brian McFadden makes daughters pay for own Christmas gifts

McFadden makes his daughters pay for half their presents

Lady Gaga is a godmother

Lady Gaga has become a godmother to her friends' daughter

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley