Moosehead Lake Traverse:  Expedition Update #4

Sugar Island, small cove SW side

Temperature H/L: -3°C/28°F

  Weather – Clearing, Sunny, Snow Squalls, Blowing snow, white out, calm, Stars!

Distance – 8km/5miles

Animals – 2 domesticated dogs (ours), we didn’t see anything today!  Again the weather wasn’t very nice.

B:  Made with Local Oatmeal, Bacon, Coffee

L: PB&J&Butter, Soup Noodle, Trail Mix, Chocolate, Salami & Cheese, Coffee

D: Soup noodle, Lasagne, Chocolate


The dogs have settled

The end is in sight

Don’t want to leave the trail though

We woke up this morning really early, 5 am and got the woodstove going to melt snow and make breakfast. It continued to snow throughout the night leaving a lot of snow on the ground. By the time we packed up camp and got on our way it was 8am and the horizons were clear, we got see the far shore and decided it was a good time to make the 5.5km/ 3.5mile crossing to the head of Sugar Island. We walked a straight of a line as possible while making the crossing making sure not to have to walk any further then we had to. The pulling conditions were very hard and took a significant amount of energy. We kept at it for 5 solid hours, only stopping a couple of times to pee, drink water, have a snack and look around. It is a pretty humbling experience standing in the middle of such a big lake. You feel very small being so exposed.

The wind started blowing half way through our crossing. This was expected and pretty normal following such a storm. But with that wind came blowing snow causing yet more white out conditions. Being in a complete white out is very disorientating. It is nearly impossible to see any difference between the ground and the horizon, everything is white!

Upon reaching Sugar Island we pushed on another 2.5km/1.5miles to a protected cove. By the time we reached this spot it had stopped snowing and we were completely protected from the wind. The deep snow had been really hard on the dogs and they are sleeping soundly now. Soon we shall be too.

Dave and Dan’s Dilemma

Broken Equipment

            OH NO!   We have had a major piece of our gear break on us. One of our sleds has worn a hole right through the bottom of it. The ice can be rough sometimes and rocks are not impossible to hit, but we still cannot believe this has happened. We still have 25km to travel before we reach the end, where a major repair can happen, that’s a 2 day walk from here. The hole is about 5 cm long and 1 cm wide.

But have no fear, we brought a repair kit filled with odds and ends just in case something like this happened. It is always important to plan and prepare properly for such accidents ahead of time.

Check out what we have in our kit and help us come up with some ideas as to how we can fix the hole in our sled! Don’t forget, we have lots of other items with us that may be useful, so don’t be afraid to get creative.


duct tape                    a metal bar         wax

metal wire                  grommets            heat (woodstove)

zip ties                        rope                       Ziploc bags

scissors                       Advil

a knife                       band aids

Remember to share your results with us, in the comments below!

5 Responses to “Moosehead Lake Traverse: Expedition Update #4”

  1. france

    wax (+heat) the edges of the hole so it’s not so rough and sharp and duct tape it solidly on both sides?
    Loving following your adventures!

  2. Jess McCormick

    Amy (4 years old) says to put a lot of tape on the hole to keep it soft. The duct tape is also strong so that hopefully you will not get another hole. If Kyro did it then its ok–just an accident. She says to say “I love you” to Kyro. She hopes that the fixing of the sled goes well and she misses you both.

  3. Mr. Dale

    Mr. Dale’s sixth grade class’ dilemma solution: Use two layers of duct tape with a grid pattern of metal wire sandwiched between them for reinforcement, similar to rebar in concrete, to patch the hole. Cover the bottom of both sleds, particularly contact points, as much as possible with duct tape to add an extra layer of protection. Then wax the bottom of both sleds to reduce friction.


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