Arctic Venture

Arctic Venture is the name of the first traverse over the roof of America in modern times, without machine support. In two years Yuri Klaver will attempt to cover a distance of 8.000 kilometers (5000 miles) by sea kayak, skis and kite, ALONE. If Arctic Venture succeeds it will set a new standard for polar expeditions. Read the ebook (soon available), watch the videos or go to www.facebook.com/ArcticVenture for the most recent updates. mvdf-10-12-12-0873

The Plan

My experience in Arctic Sweden and the Siberian wilderness, careful preparation and a professional team of sponsors are all vital ingredients to make this expedition a success. The journey  consists of 10 stages, starting in Nome, Alaska, finishing in Jacobshavn, Greenland. It covers a wide range of arctic scenery. I will paddle along desolate shorelines, go upstream rivers into mountainous Arctic interiors and cross large distances over the pack-ice by skis and snow kite. Click here for a detailed description of the route.

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The Idea

In the late summer of 1999, on a steep forested hill in the French Alps, I had a dream. I had washed ashore near a rugged coast. The water was cold, the sun was shining. I crossed a narrow strait, went upstream a river into the landmass at the other side, traversed a mountain pass surrounded by sharp ridges, arrived at the sea again, went along rocky islands to the east, reached a bay with high cliffs at both sides, crossed an enormous white stretch of land, to reach the rugged shore of the other side. At the horizon lay a large island. Meanwhile there were these strange shimmering coloured lights. Suddenly I woke up. A beatle was loudly finding its way through the crispy leafs under the tent floor. In 2011, in a dusty bookstore in Amsterdam, I found some old maps of the Arctic that made me realize the enormous scale of this area. A huge wilderness without roads, industries and cities. After some investigation I discovered that the last expedition to cross Arctic America from one side to the other, had been undertaken by Roald Amundsen in 1907. In a time where explorers have become victims of their very own success, in a time where people stand in line to climb the Mount Everest, I knew I was on to something: the first traverse over the roof of America in modern times.

Goal

Arctic Venture embodies much more than pushing human limits. With state of the art cameras and satellite communication, I want to make as many people as possible part of this adventure. High quality videos wil be broadcasted every one or two weeks, to give everybody a sense of what it is to explore the second largest wilderness on the planet. At the end a documentary will be made of the whole expedition. The aim of Arctic Venture: to raise 50.000 euros for the World Wildlife Fund. Within it's Arctic Program the WWF aims to prevent industries disturbing the rich Arctic wildlife, and, as a result, supporting the people that depend on it. Arctic Venture exemplifies these same values by showing that there is an alternative for heavy machines that use a lot of fuel, by using the smooth turn of paddles, the force of the wind, the reliability of solar energy and the clean power of ethanol for cooking and heating. If you are interested to sponsor the expedition and the values it stands for, click here or go to the sponsors page.

Acknowledgements 

It feels a bit awkward to build this rocket with so many people and then, launch yourself into the complete solitude of deep space. I owe many thanks to Marcel Kraaibeek (CEO of Florus Logistics) for transporting the kayak to the end of the world, and for his assistance on many other occasions, the advisory board members (Lars, Edgar, Petra, Mark, Piet and Mike) for giving their hounest advice and support, my uncle and aunt Egbert and Lionne for there outdoor assistance, and my father and mother for having the trust that I will return home in good health.

  “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” 

- John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic (1928)