On January 15, 2006 a Belgian Canadian expedition team started the ‘Algonquin Winter Crossing 2006, on snowshoes at the height of the Canadian winter. Belgian Polar traveler Dixie Dansercoer was the patron of this expedition. The main challenges for this snowshoe expedition were the thin ice and open water where currents retarded freezing, often accompanied with shoreline cliff sides that required negotiation. Deep soft snow required the breaking of trail ahead of the teams equipment toboggan. Eight km a day was considered a strong day under the snow conditions encountered. High hills on the over land trails (designed for summer travel) required all hands to haul toboggans and gear to their summits a very time consuming and energy extracting ordeal. The team encountered dozens of such hills. Snow blindness was a constant threat
The six-man team pushed and pulled two expedition-style toboggans, each one of about 60 kilos, containing the group stores for the trek. Each member also carried a personal backpack of about 15 kilos. An extra 30 meters of rope was carried, to assist on the high hill accents, also serving as a safety rope for the team when navigating around thin ice, with each team member snap linking to this main line.
The team members lived in one large tent with a white gas lantern and white gas stove to provide light, cooking ability and a certain amount of heat.
Snowshoes were in almost constant use, a very traditional method of traveling the Algonquin high lands, a tradition passed on from the Algonquin First Nation.
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