Polar Ice 2013 Route

Logo PIR

Mainport forwarding shipped the bike and the sledge in separate crates to Anchorage, Alaska. On 31 January 2013 I flew over there myself. After getting my equipment through customs I put it on a cargo plane to Barrow, the start of the route and followed it in a small passenger carrier. Once started, I wanted to go immediately onto the frozen Beaufort Sea and ride towards Prudhoe Bay (Deadhorse), which lays as the crow flies about 186mi/300km easterly. Because of the oil companies that pump up the ‘black gold’, Prudhoe Bay and surroundings are normally taboo terrain. Therefore it was possible that I had to bypass the area much further north, to eventually reach the Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road. After riding some 60mi/100km over that ‘Ice Road’ on the Mackenzie River Delta the Canadian town of Inuvik would be the first civilization. Depending on how much winding there would be needed to avoid obstacles like ice floe and oil fields, I estimated to cover 680mi/1.100km to 870mi/1.400km on the polar ice.

PIR 2013 geplande route

Red = planned route

That was the plan, but it didn’t work out that way. Because I wasn’t able to pull the sledge on sections were a thick layer of snow covered the polar ice, I had to hire somebody to tow it with his snowmobile. For that reason, but also because it was extremely hard to ride those rough sections, I went for the shortest possible route that connected me with a road. That was to Nuiqsut, where we got back on the mainland after riding some 200mi/320km on the ice. After putting the wheels under the sledge I rode via an ice road and roads from the oil companies to Deadhorse, where I reached the public road. Via de Dalton Highway – with its magnificent Atigun Pass – I rode to Fairbanks. A little further south the Alaskan Highway starts. That legendary road I followed until its starting point in Dawson Creek. Via Calgary I rode to the border Canada – USA at Montana and from there a random route to the island Key West in Florida.

The total distance was approximately 6,200mi/10.000km, from which more than half of it on surface that a motorcyclist with common sense would avoid during winter season.
It happens that I’m not one of those… Luckily!

PIR 2013 gereden route
Red = ridden route
Blue = planned route with possible alternative = green

Route PIR 2013 Google
Click the map to see the (Google Maps) route.

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