Winter Quotes from Yukon Alone


I read a good book about dog sledding entitled Yukon Alone: The World’s Toughest Adventure Race by John Balzur.  While it focused on his preparation and execution of the Yukon Quest Dog Sled race he had statements that I quote below that are quite applicable to winter camping.

“….winter is the time of greatest outdoor mobility here- the lakes and rivers and bogs have frozen over and the dog teams and snow machines have free range.”

“To journey out in winter requires a finesse and proficiency, but one is rewarded with the satisfaction of entering a universe that can only be described as pristine.”

Talking about extreme cold (-40).   “In the cold you have no nose for smell, because everything is frozen and odorless. But your other senses become more acute. The air holds virtually no moisture at this temperature, so your vision is noticeably clearer; everything is rendered in ultra sharp contours.”

“…the snow muffles almost all noise and your ears grow acute.”

“Boredom is the precursor to despair, and I am not alone in believing that a chief source of boredom in our civilized, acquisitive, urban-crowded modern culture is the absence of unknown places and peoples to inflame our imaginations. In earlier times, the cartographer quaintly labeled unexplored spaces on the map with the words There Be Dragons. No such terrain is left for us now.”

“opportunity to journey into the dark and wild to enjoy….and explore a frozen landscape that almost everyone else in the world regards as inhospitable.”


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