Author Archives: Katrin Becker

Hauling for Health: DAY 6

Day 6

Cambridge Bay Day 1

Location: Cambridge Bay

Hello to you all!

I’m writing this final blog from a beautiful, crisp sunny morning here in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

As I sit here in the comfort of a friend’s home , a marked contrast to a few days ago when I was struggling in a 70 km/ hr wind and minus 45 windchill to put up my little Hilleberg tent, I marvel at how local residents and ancestors have adapted to the extreme environment of the Arctic.. How communities such as Cambridge Bay live continuously on the edge of survival and thriving in such a fragile environment.

Extreme winters with darkness, cold and prevailing NWesterlies a constant challenge makes it very difficult for many to spend a lot of time outdoors in wintertime.

Grassroots, Frontline backbone of Health Care delivery in Cambridge Bay Nunavut… Dr Chris Dechert and head nurse colleague

Some people still try to get out as much as possible but for most , winters involve spending most of winter indoors.

This is bound to have an impact on people’s physical and mental health.

Food insecurity

There appears to be a higher than average percentage of more extreme, complex medical problems among this resilient community… no doubt the harsh environmental conditions play a part.

It is a big disappointment to have to finish this expedition prematurely.
After a year of planning it was over in 5 days.
It was by far the shortest expedition I have ever done.

In the bigger picture , it was the right decision and I am very appreciative that I was able to make it back self supported without having to involve search and rescue and potentially put other people’s lives at risk.
I could have gone on further but risked turning the expedition into a disaster.
At the pace I was traveling, there was a good chance I would not have made it in time.
I was traveling at about half the pace as last year in Siberia and was pulling about 25 lbs more this year.

Cambridge Bay Health Centre

In my opinion , with the availability today of sat phone communication , there is the increased potential for people pushing the limits in more remote ,extreme environments to rely on rescue services being readily available if needed
This is very inappropriate and risks the lives of the rescue team as well as costs to the system.

My back pain will recover with time… the memories of being up here in this magical environment will persist.

The hospitality and friendship of the local people I will always cherish.

Brent Boddy .. Cambridge Bay kiting guru !!

Many thanks to you all…. Brent and Ian in particular.

As Shackleton remarked to his wife after returning from Antarctica
“ better a live donkey than a dead lion”.

Many thanks to you all for following !!

Bill

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Tommy the tent, Sally the stove, Freddy the food, Foxy the fuel, the Siku twins

and Bill

 

 

Hauling for Health: DAY 5

Day 5
Distance traveled: ??
Location: 6 KM out of Cambridge Bay
 
Almost back.
 

 

Northwest Passage on Wikipedia

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to:
K.Becker,
Mink Hollow Media
hello@minkhollow.ca

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Tommy the tent, Sally the stove, Freddy the food, Foxy the fuel, the Siku twins

and Bill

 

 

Hauling for Health: DAY 4

Day 4
Distance traveled: ??
Location: Not quite sure
 
We are very disappointed to report that the expedition has had to be cancelled. Listen to Bill’s report to find out more.
 

 

Northwest Passage on Wikipedia

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to:
K.Becker,
Mink Hollow Media
hello@minkhollow.ca

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Tommy the tent, Sally the stove, Freddy the food, Foxy the fuel, the Siku twins

and Bill

 

 

Hauling for Health: DAY 2

Day 2
Distance traveled: ~53 Km
Location: 68°35’08.7″N 104°49’07.7″W
 

 

Northwest Passage on Wikipedia

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to:
K.Becker,
Mink Hollow Media
hello@minkhollow.ca

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Tommy the tent, Sally the stove, Freddy the food, Foxy the fuel, the Siku twins

and Bill

 

 

Hauling for Health: DAY 1

Day 1
Distance traveled: ~13 Km
Location: 69°03.578’N 104°52.849’W

 

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to:
K.Becker,
Mink Hollow Media
hello@minkhollow.ca

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Tommy the tent, Sally the stove, Freddy the food, Foxy the fuel, the Siku twins

and Bill

 

 

We’re On Our Way!

Hauling for Health: NWT 2018

This was the last pre-expedition day before setting out on the trail tomorrow.

Despite my desire to be as minimalist as possible with gear and equipment Scellig the sled appears to have gained a lot of weight in the last 24 hours.

Scellig will be carrying more than he had planned and Hobnails is not so happy as a result of having the pull this extra gear.

Hobnails is quietly thinking of eating lots of food early on to lighten the load but not too much to be overly attractive to the polar bears and distract them from the seals.

I would like to thank the many people who have contributed enormously to help the team getting to the start here in Cambridge Bay.

Without the advice, experience and generosity of the many friends and colleagues who have given so much in terms of sharing knowledge, experience and expertise .. this expedition would not have come together.

Thanks so much to you all!

Last sunset in Cambridge Bay comfort

Now it’s in the hands of Hobnails, the support team on the ice and the spirits of the NW Passage.

Hope you join us on the adventure!!

Hobnails

The Adventure Begins!

Busy Beaver Lodge, Yellowknife owners Elena And Patrick Such great hosts!! Highly recommend anyone visiting Yellowknife to stay there.

She provided me with berries from her summer garden as sustenance for the trip!!
Elena and Patrick are great hosts!! Thanks guys!!

On way to airport for Cambridge Bay

Hauling for Health: The Northwest Passage 2018

Hauling for Health:

The Northwest Passage 2018

Solo Ski Expedition

In early April 2018 (like, tomorrow!) Dr. Bill Hanlon will embark on the first leg of a multi-year solo expedition to traverse the full 3,300 kn length of the Northwest Passage from Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories to Pond Inlet on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada.

The first leg will start from Cambridge Bay to Gjoa Haven and then onto Taloyoak in Nunavut.

The expedition will focus on highlighting the current health issues of northern indigenous peoples.

The NW Passage is steeped in history, exploration, rich culture and landscape as well as human health, environmental, wildlife, and sovereignty challenges.

This expedition is much more than an exploration of this wild, beautiful, remote, harsh Canadian landscape.

It is about exploration into the harsh reality of the current health status of northern people.

It is about exploring why this low density population living in this vast land mass within our Canadian borders has such poor health outcomes compared to the rest of Canada.

Why the population of Nunavut, with a similar land mass as Mexico and a population of only 36,000 residents has such high rates of diabetes, suicide, tuberculosis, and household food insecurity.

This expedition is about engaging with local communities, elders, front line workers, exploring reasons why these health parameters exist and trying to explore more effective, sustainable solutions at the grass roots level.

It is about navigating through this complex issue by engaging at the community level, respecting every point of view and sharing 30 years of medical experience working with indigenous populations in remote parts of the globe.

This expedition is also about self exploration, paring down living needs, focusing on the basic human needs of food, shelter, water, connectivity with the people and landscape, the spirits of the passage and temporarily disconnecting with the “business” of modern life.

It is about movement within the natural world and trying to keep an aging body sustained and reaching out tot he next horizon. It is about dealing with one’s vulnerabilities in a vast and powerful landscape.

The upcoming expedition will continue the Siberian Lake Baikal “Conversations from the Sled”. The team of Hobnails, Scelig the sled,Tommy the tent, Sally the stove, Freddy the food, Foxy the fuel will be joined by twins Siku the skis, Nanuq the navigator … these vital members of the team are essential for it’s survival.

Stay tuned….

This walk in the wild “Hauling for Health” expedition will start from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada in early April 2018.

Worth Sharing: Out in the cold: What the TB crisis in Nunavut reveals about Canada

There is no clearer evidence of the maldistribution of wealth and of social services in Canada to the detriment of Indigenous people than the tuberculosis epidemic under way in the Arctic.

Last week, 14-year-old Gussie Bennett, from Nain, Labrador, died of tuberculosis. Nain’s last serious outbreak of TB was just in 2015. In January, 15-year-old Ileen Kooneeliusie, from Qikiqtarjuak, on Baffin Island, died. The screening program undertaken in the weeks following revealed 10 per cent of the population of Qikiqtarjuak to be infected. Across Nunavut, 17 of the 25 communities have cases of tuberculosis. But the largest of these outbreaks so far is the one in Arviat.

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-out-in-the-cold-what-the-tb-crisis-in-nunavut-reveals-about-canada/

Calgary Eyeopener Interview: Getting Ready to Trek the Northwest Passage

 You can listen to the podcast on the Calgary Eyeopener’s website.

 

The 8-minute interview starts at the 16 minute mark (16:00 – 24:00).

Calgary Eyeopener Episode for March 16, 2018

Interview: Bill Hanlon on skiing the Northwest Passage

ExplorersWeb caught up with Bill Hanlon as he prepares to leave on his next expedition: a 900-kilometer solo trek in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Source: Pythom.com Interview: Bill Hanlon on skiing the Northwest Passage

Telus Storyhive: How a Cochrane Doctor is Saving Lives Overseas

Dr. William Hanlon goes to extremes to bring sustainable healthcare to some of the most remote regions on the planet.

Dr. Hanlon marks 30 years spreading medical knowledge around world

By David Feil, Cochrane Times

Local physician Dr. William Hanlon recently returned home to Cochrane after spending about a month on his own in Siberia to provide medical support to the Buryat near the Mongolian border.
 

Local physician Dr. William Hanlon recently returned home to Cochrane after spending about a month on his own in Siberia to provide medical support to the Buryat near the Mongolian border.

Read more here:  http://www.cochranetimes.com/2017/06/12/dr-hanlon-marks-30-years-spreading-medical-knowledge-around-world

 

Basic Health In the News: June 2017 [2]

023EC2017-06-13e1-1

Basic Health In the News: June 2017 [1]

022EC2017-06-13e1