Welcome to the BWCAW blog of Ely Outfitting Company and Boundary Waters Guide Service!

See our websites at ElyOutfittingCompany.com and BoundaryWatersGuideService.com.

We are a Boundary Waters canoe trip outfitter, Quetico outfitter, and guide service in Ely, Minnesota. This Boundary Waters blog shares photos, stories, humor, skills, and naturalist insights from guiding in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Most entries are from our founder and head guide, Jason Zabokrtsky. He is the Boundary Waters Blogger.

Friday, February 13, 2009

North Pole Shakedown

I just returned from a North Pole Shakedown. Adventurous people who want to ski and dogsled to the geographic North Pole journey to Ely for Shakedown dogsled camping trips. Participants learn dogsledding, winter camping, and skiing skills needed to successfully reach the Pole. This is their opportunity to determine if they have what it takes to endure an attempt on the Pole.

If, after a Shakedown trip, the participants decide the expedition requirements are too significant and withdraw from a Pole attempt, they are "shook out."

Three participants ventured with me on the trip this week. The below photo shows (from left) Lieva and Koen (both from Belgium) and Diem (from Switzerland) packing a special camping-style dogsled. The above photo shows Diem driving a dog team.

One of the most important skills necessary on Pole trips is the ability to overcome adversity. The adversity on this trip took the form of an unseasonable drizzle that soaked us every day while on trail.

The participants all endured and excelled, even in the adverse conditions. All three of them will attempt to reach the North Pole by dogsled and ski in April. We wish them the best.

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