Friday, August 5, 2011

Ogita and Kakuhata finished Canadian tundra expedition

The two Japanese adventurers, Yasunaga Ogita and Yusuke Kakuhata, completed the second leg of their expedition in the high Canadian Arctic. After sledge hauling from Resolute Bay to Gjoa Haven, they stocked up on food and fuel and headed out to Baker Lake. 

“It was really tough trip! But lots of fun and emotional wildlife there,” Yasu said to ExplorersWeb. They arrived at Baker Lake on July 6 and travelled 565 km over 54 days. During the expedition the team saw caribou, muskoxen, wolves and migrating birds. 

Winter to summer 

At first they pulled their gear on sleds, but later changed to backpacks when the snow melted and exposed the tundra. During the expedition they were exposed to -40°C winter temperatures on the ice to +22°C summer temperatures on the tundra. With the summer the mosquitoes also made their appearance. 

On this second section the team had again no resupplies. They didn’t even had a satellite phone or radio with them and had therefore no communication with the outside world. 

Among the high points during their expedition were a cairn built by Kund Rasmussen at Victory Point at the west coast of King William Island, commemorating the Franklin expedition, and also the five polar bears they have encountered and one that even tried to get into their tent.

The team is now back in Japan.

Resolute Bay to Gjoa Haven video:

Yasunaga Ogita and Yusuke Kakuhata started their unassisted, unsupported expedition in the high Canadian Arctic from resolute Bay to Gjoa Haven on March 16, 2011. According to them, they have traveled 1046 km in 60 days to reach this small town in the Northwest Passage. Their aim was to retrace the 1845 Franklin expedition.

On May 25 they left Gjoa Haven and arrived at Baker Lake on July 6, 2011. They travelled the 565 km in 43 days and did it unassisted, unsupported. In total, 1611 km in 103 days.

Yasunaga Ogita (33) has done, among other Arctic expeditions, a solo expedition to the 1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole in 2010. His team mate, Yusuke Kakuhata (35) is a writer.

In 1845 Sir John Franklin departed England on a doomed voyage meant to traverse the last unnavigated section of the Northwest Passage. His two boats became ice bound in Victoria Strait near King William Island and Franklin and his 128 men were lost.

Speeding up river and lake crossings.
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita
Tundra walking
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita
Rocky walking.
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita
Well deserved rest while checking the GPS.
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita
Tundra camping.
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita
Handmade in Japan… in the tundra.
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita

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