When the glaciers have retreated 4km since the latest google earth image (2014) new creeks, cliffs, and lakes create some slow, challenging travel. Martina and Tania have now made it to Juneau for a quick re-supply, and route adjustment due to a significant lack of snow. Next stop. Skagway! @g3gear @arc,teryx @mec @mountainlifefilm @avalanchecanada @mec_nation @gearhubsports @lasportivana @rab.equipment @bridensolutions @climbbasecamp @inreachcanada @salomenaturals
Previously termed, ‘The most ambitious ski traverse ever,‘ the 1,500 mile, 6 month slog from Squamish, BC to Skagway, AK has seen its fair share of failure. However, one mother-daughter duo just broke that losing streak by claiming the second successful attempt EVER!
Perhaps even more surprising than the traverse itself, Tania Halik said it wasn’t the hardest thing she’s ever had to do. Halik had previously tested her mettle by escaping from communist Russia and into Switzerland with her a then unborn child before ultimately ending up in British Columbia. Since her harrowing trek to freedom, Tania raised a family of outdoor minded kiddos with Martina following in her footsteps as a ski patroller and guide.
Ultimately, the pair decided to undertake the Coast Mountain Epic Traverse in order to push themselves as well as, “motivate others, especially women both young and old, to explore their backyards too.”
The two women arrived in the Alaskan town of Skagway on Wednesday after 6 months of traversing the infamous Coast Mountains on skis.
The two said the hardest part of the traverse came just after Bella Coola, when they were forced to cross the icy cold Dean River using just a $24 inflatable tube, a 60m rope, and their own ingenuity to get themselves and their gear across the rushing expanse of water.
“I can see Tania getting hypothermic as she stands midstream in ski boots shivering violently. It starts to rain and I start to get very scared.” – Coast Mountain Epic
During the crossing, Martina’s mother (*as well as their lighters and shelter) became stranded on the other side of the river due to their stubborn rope getting stuck between rock and ice midstream. After some hypothermia on both ends, they crossed the river successfully before ceremoniously burning their map of the Dean River. Almost 100 days later, the two entered Seward Alaska and finished what they’d set out to do.
Coast Mountain Ski Traverse By The Numbers
- 2300km (*1,430 miles)
- 15 major ice fields
- 12 river valleys
- 6 month expedition
Find the entire blog here: Coast Mountain Epic