Skip to comments.Mishaps in the Unforgiving Arctic
Posted on 02/28/2018 8:11:47 AM PST by w1n1
Crossing the tundra was painful. The constant pounding of hard snow on steel was sending sharp pains up and down my spine, making it miserable.
It was cold too, 40 below zero, and the snow was practically gone. The wind had done its job. In the back of my mind I could hear my father, 6,000 miles to the south, talking to me.
Watch what youre doing, he would say. And as clear as day, I could also see my sons face home, warm, happy and waiting for me. Will I ever get back? Deep down I was scared in this place.
THERE HAVE BEEN MANY of these experiences during my time in the Arctic dangerous situations that should have been avoided but werent. Lets go anyway, I would say. I was younger then and had a lot to learn. Luckily, I have since then, but only after several close calls. Maybe that is what experience hunting in the high Arctic does for you. It gives you experiences that most cant fathom or even want to.
A few of these experiences stand out, most happening in the deepest depths of winter, when conditions are the most dangerous, especially when it comes to predicting the weather and what it will do. Yes, you can try, but once you leave the security of home and venture out here things can and are usually quite different. The windswept tundra and the cold, hard river can play hell on your decisions like no other, but you go anyway.
The best and worst experiences have come during February and March. All have had to do with muskox or subsistence hunts, and later, grizzly. Occurrences evolved into situations, but only until later or after the fact. Some of those dangerous instances rode on decisions that would decide whether you lived or died. If it sounds serious, its because it was serious. Read the rest of this Alaskan survival story here.
The constant pounding of hard snow on steel
A friend and I were going to do a winter hike and camp in the White Mountains in New Hampshire some years back. It was cold, but a nice, bright February day, about 6-8 inches of snow with a hard crust on top.
Neither of us had ever done winter camping like this, and it was not a strenuous hike at all, only about five miles to a 3200 ft. elevation, and we had done it quite a few times before. Our backpacks were pretty heavy, but we had appropriate clothing and boots, so off we went.
Well, we started walking, and every other step, our weight was enough to break that foot through the snow, and come to a screeching halt after about a 6-8” drop.
It doesn’t sound like much, but after about a mile, I realized that I was not going to be able to do it. Each time my foot broke through and stopped with a thud when it hit solid ground, felt like a jackhammer blow to the vertical aspect of my spine. I have a bad back, and had to call it. We found a motel for the night, drank beer, and drove home the next day.
Maybe I should have tried snowshoes, but...never used them, and that wasn’t the time to learn!
Thanks. I misread the article to mean that it was falling snow, not on ground stuff.
LOL, I had to go back and make sure I got it right (no guarantees for me...ever)
The author needs a proofreader. People write how they think...which doesn’t work well in analytical type writing.
You should try showshoes; they’re pretty fun.
The Top Gear guys went to the North pole
They drank their way there.
They also rode comfortable riding in back
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