viernes, 11 de mayo de 2012


For hundreds of years European explorers attempted to find a sea route around the northern coast of North America. This fabled route, called the Northwest Passage, turned out to be a major bust: a few lucky captains eventually made it through, but the journey's shallow and ice-chocked waters erased all hopes for the Passage as a major shipping lane.

Since the first Northwest Passage didn't work out so well, it's about time someone came up with a new one. Here's my suggestion: the road between Mt. Hood and Whistler. Like the old Northwest Passage, it promises adventure, riches and a whole lot of the cold, fluffy stuff—all year round.

I undertook to explore this new passage with a few intrepid adventurers ready to put it all on the line: Brandon Pastucka, Andrew Napier, Witt Foster, Steve Stepp and Tom Wallisch. This is the story of our journey.

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The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first one to actually sail the entire route, but he almost didn't even make it out of his home port. Heavily in debt from outfitting his ship, Roald got out of town just before his creditors could stop him.

Witt Foster's situation was similar: he started the journey with only $49 in his pocket, narrowly escaping from the snowboard-infested slum motel down the road from Mt. Hood known as The Ark.

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Early explorers to the Northwest Passage endured cramped quarters, ever-dwindling food supplies and fickle Arctic weather. All I had to endure was the overpowering stench of Witt's single pair of ski socks. I'd take scurvy over that any day.

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Like most trips to the Northwest Passage, ours encountered some foul weather. When we reached Whistler it was spitting snow and rain up on the glacier. Of course, in late June, that's nothing to be complaining about.

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