“I left town at noon… The small trail I was following was hard to see in the whiteout. Made about 10 miles, which was a good day to begin with.”– Will Steger, March 20, 2018

Black Lake: 26°F  /  Baker Lake: -17°F  /  Ely, MN: 23°F

Today, Will began his 1,000-mile, 70-day solo canoe-sled expedition through the Barren Lands of the Canadian Arctic.


Find Will Steger on the 2018 Barren Lands Solo Expedition and follow his daily progress. Will updates his position at the end of each day while making dinner, journaling, and preparing for the next day.

Find Will’s Current Position

Written By Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune on Mar 18, 2018

When Will Steger goes on spring break, he knows how to avoid crowds. He heads in a familiar direction — North.

Ely’s Steger, who has led successful dogsled expeditions to the North Pole and across Antarctica, will leave northern Saskatchewan on Wednesday for a 1,000-mile solo trek across Canada’s treeless barrenlands. He plans to reach Baker Lake, near Hudson Bay, 70 days later in early June.

Now a fit 73, Steger will haul a custom-built canoe-sled loaded with 200 pounds of gear and food over lakes, rivers and portages. His route passes through no villages. He will be resupplied twice by a bush plane on skis.

Even by Steger’s standards, this journey will offer significant challenges.

He will face temperatures of 40 below to 40 above, he estimates, traveling unpeopled, unforgiving country known for its fierce winds. He will negotiate rivers that could be in spring break-up near the end of his trip. Thus, he tows the canoe, a Northstar design by Minnesotan Ted Bell fitted with runners so Steger can pull it or paddle it.

“This is serious,” Steger said in a telephone interview from Ely. “In these rivers, you could fall in. It can be life and death. This pushes all my skills.” He spent six months trying to find a suitably formidable route across the barrens, he said. For the past five springs, he has made similar journeys closer to home — in wooded country — finishing near his Ely homestead. He’s unlikely to see a tree for most of this trip.

Steger will have to average about 14 miles a day, mostly skiing or walking, to complete his trip on schedule.

“That’s quite a chunk,” Steger said. “But I think I have a good shot at it.”

Read the Full Article at Duluth News Tribune

“There’s supposed to be somewhat of a snow storm tomorrow… I’ll be vulnerable to the wind, but the wind is actually good news because it’ll keep the snow off the trail.” – Will Steger, March 19, 2018.

March 19, 2018 Temps:
Stony Rapids: 19°F / Baker Lake: 12°F / Ely, MN: 20°F

Tomorrow, Will begins his 70-day, 1,000-mile solo canoe-sled expedition in the Barren Lands of the Canadian Arctic.

By Cathy Wurzer, MPR

Explorer Will Steger has been pretty busy lately planning his next adventure, which starts later this week.

Will Steger at his exhibit “Inside an Explorer’s Mind: Survival, Innovation, Design” Sept. 30, 2013 at Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Minneapolis. Jennifer Simonson | MPR News 2013

Steger, from Ely, Minn., became famous leading dogsled expeditions to the North Pole and across Greenland and Antarctica. On those journeys he led a team of explorers, but on this one, Steger will go it alone. He’s looking forward to the solitude.

Steger, 73, will be traveling with a canoe that he will sometimes pull and sometimes paddle, and about 70 pounds of gear — clothes, a satellite phone, journals, an emergency locator — and 90 pounds of food and fuel.

Over the next couple of months he plans to ski, walk and canoe across a large area in the Barren Lands of the Canadian Arctic. It’s a part of the world he has explored before but not at this time of year.

Listen to the interview at MPR.org

“It’s been a very cold winter up here, which is great for me – but really deep snow, which is not so good for me… The trip is on.” – Will Steger, March 18, 2018.

Will arrives in Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan, 10 miles from the starting point of his 1,000-mile, 70-day solo canoe sled expedition in the Barren Lands of the Canadian Arctic.

March 18, 2018 Temps:
Stony Rapids: 8°F  /  Baker Lake: -9°F  /  Ely, MN: 27°F

“My past life is now left behind in the States. I’m not thinking about anything now except what lies ahead.” – Will Steger, March 17, 2018.

Will travels north to begin a 1,000-mile, 70-day solo canoe sled expedition in the Barren Lands of the Canadian Arctic.

“Still within cell range for the next day or two… It just feels great to hit the road.” – Will Steger, March 16, 2018

Will crosses the border into Canada to begin a 1,000-mile, 70-day solo canoe sled expedition in the Arctic’s Barren Lands.