Jul 9, 2006 at 3:14 pm #1218978
Roman Dial made it to Dalton Hwy, the lone surviver of the Arctic 1000! Hurray Roman!Jul 13, 2006 at 8:31 pm #1359313
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Alas, some rather nasty peices of work have taken over the comments section of the Arctic 1000 blog.
The bones that the posters have to pick focus on whether or not this trek lived by it’s rules. Secondly, that the whole affair was shameless self-promotion. Thirdly, that environmental destruction was commited in the process of this trip.
Are these criticisms justified? What do people think, who followed the Arctic 1000?
My opinion, for what it’s worth—-Air “rescue” of Ryan was fair. This is the 21st cent., last I heard–not a re-enactment of some Sourdough’s death march. The trip was certainly self-supporting to Anuktuvak Pass, about 70 Km short of the Route goal. Self-promotion? Maybe—so what? I prefer the term, “entrepreneurial”. The publicity served the greater goods of promoting Wilderness preservation, long distance backpacking, UL methods—a hundred little strategies useful for less ambitious backpacks—-and more. Environmental degradation by the trio in the course of their journey? Ludicrous—- I thought their efforts were probably more sensitive to the fragile nature of the North Slope eco-system then most.
Even their use of wood (more like twigs, knowing Arctic willow ) as fuel (in very elegently clever stoves) was low impact—- and I say this as someone who is not a wood burning fan.
If there was any shortcoming in this enterprise, it was in the mistake of not taking along a prose-stylist for the blog reports. A trifle purple after Ryan left the scene. :-)> But that’s but a trifle in one of the best non-mtneering trip reports I’ve read in years.Jul 14, 2006 at 8:03 am #1359326
Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Readers here are smart enough to sort the wheat from the chaff.
I haven’t seen a single comment, no matter how logical, whose potential impact wasn’t considered and addressed by the participants during the planning stages. Only the team can judge the accuracy of their decisions on each point. The sat phone is a perfect example of the UL philosophy in action – primarily a means of transmitting the daily blogs, it would serve the dual function of transmitting calls for help if needed.
Ryan, Roman, and Jason are not babes in the woods. They know what they’re doing, how to do it, and what risks they are willing to assume.
I say the team accomplished their goal, even though circumstances whittled them down to one; that one finished, and within the parameters of the goal.
Self-promotion? A side benefit of self-satisfaction and accomplishment. Who really thinks they did this solely as a personal challenge or test of skills? Get real!
Environmental degradation? Rediculous! By burning dead wood, they were reducing the potential fuel load for wildfires. Kevin nailed it!
The comment regarding the degraded compositional quality of the daily reports after Ryan’s depature is, in my opinion, a valid criticism but one must consider the source. Roman and Jason are university math professors – guys like that speak a totally different language than English.Jul 14, 2006 at 11:31 am #1359333
Eric NobleBPL Member
@ericnobleLocale: Colorado Rockies
I spent too much time trying to engage the nay sayers. I tend to assume the best of people, and I assumed that Mikey might have some experience that he was willing to share. I tried to draw him out only to be sadly disappointed. It appears he is only capable of vitriol. Kevin, you said not to feed the trolls. You were quicker to see them for what they are.
I also believe the air rescue was fair. To hi-light the fact that rescue might be necessary in “Sobering Up at the 176th” they even visited the SAR team that might come for them. I wonder how many adventurers have taken the time to do that. This was a team effort, at no point was it ever stated that all members of the team had to complete the trek. In fact, they clearly planned for the case that they all wouldn’t finish.
One thing that bothered me was all of the criticism of the promotion of the trek by people who were able to criticize because of the promotion of the trek. I pointed this out repeatedly to no avail. I agree Kevin, the publicity served a greater good.
The argument of environmental degradation is a red herring in this case. They provided an object lesson on leave no trace principles. To argue that because of them others will follow and mess things up is to remove responsibility from the idiots that follow and place it on the shoulders of Ryan, Roman and Jason. This is clearly wrong. Is Edison responsible for anyone who ever stuck their fingers in an electrical outlet.
The contrast between this forum and the Arctic 1000 forum is striking. I am so grateful for this forum! This forum has attracted a great bunch of people.Jul 14, 2006 at 1:33 pm #1359336
Miguel ArboledaBPL Member
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
I find the assumption on the part of the detractors that, in adhering to some abstract idea of “self-supporting”, Ryan ought to have put himself into danger by attempting to struggle with his sprained ankle, come what may, on through the wilderness, rather ridiculous. What exactly do they propose he ought to have done instead? The old adventure tragedies like the Scott Expedition and Shackleton’s journey are all very stiff upper lip and all, but even they, I’m sure, would have traded all the glory for a helicoptor rescue. It’s the readers who romanticize the realities, and the readers who really have no concept of just how remote the expedition was or how dangerous a sprained ankle can be in such a place.Jul 14, 2006 at 11:15 pm #1359349
@ryanLocale: Rocky Mountains
First, thanks to all here. I so appreciate the supportive comments. It’s a tough thing, realizing that you invest all this time, training, family sacrifice, into what is on the surface, a good PR activity, but in the backcountry, this incredible personal wilderness experience, only to have it cut short.
I thought the bush plane ride out was a smart decision.
Yes, I thought about sending Roman and Jason on and either turning around and walking to the Red Dog Mine, or to Point Hope, or even back to Kivalina. They could have continued the trek as planned, I had plenty of food to make my way to a village and a more…(graceful?)…self-supported exit.
But the reality is that I wasn’t interested in doing this alone. The risk was within my own comfort level, but not within the comfort level of the collective whole as a team. We had one sat phone, one can of bear spray. We did not want to split that up. And we have to consider that the “team” here does not include only Roman, Jason, and myself, but also my wife, my son, Roman’s wife and kids, Jason’s SO, parents, the list goes on. To have made the trek without considering their influence, and where they’d sit in the event of a catastrophic failure, would be more self-aggrandizing and narcissitic than anything remotely motivating PR, the website, the blog, etc.
Bottom line: I bail, the team continues the journey in the safest possible manner for all of us. I’m ok with that. It sucks, yes, but I’m ok with it.
I never considered how dangerous a sprained ankle would be in the context of where we were, which was a long way from nowhere. If I did exit solo, I would have considered resting it for three to five days, then hiked about 10-15 miles a day back to the Red Dog mine. In retrospect, that was doable. While out there, I didn’t realize how bad my ankle was, until late day 8.
Anyway, I learned a lot, saw some beautiful places, enjoyed fantastic company, used some great new gear that will be coming out this fall, and get to look at maps for next time…:)
More soon, for sure.
RyanJul 19, 2006 at 7:31 am #1359471
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
“‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” —Alfred Tennyson
Glad you got home okay. I hate that “can I please rewind ten seconds” feeling when you have an unforseen accident like that and you find yourself on the ground with a broken body part. What is the prognosis for your ankle?Jul 19, 2006 at 9:42 am #1359474
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
>…used some great new gear that will be coming out this fall…
Promises, promises. ;-)>
I would love to hear some post-trip evaluation of what worked, what didn’t. How the prototypes faired— particularly Brian’s pack harness, the Cuben ‘mid and your solo shelter, Ryan.Jul 19, 2006 at 10:18 am #1359476
nevermind…Jul 19, 2006 at 1:15 pm #1359484
John S.BPL Member
On his ankle I’ll guess at least 3-6 months before he will be able to do much packing. It sounds like there was no break, just some major ligament strains.
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