Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kayaker Tyler Bradt readies for Arctic Polartec Challenge

The expedition sounds daunting: Travel 1,400 miles across treacherous moving sea ice, glaciers and rocky coastline using kayaks, skis and sleds. The goal? To become the first to make a complete circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island, one of the closest points of land to the North Pole.

Tyler Bradt, Jon Turk and Erik Boomer, a trio of adventure seekers, just received one of four 2011 Polartec Challenge Grants for their springtime, Arctic endeavor.

Now, if you think this expedition sounds crazy, you need to know a little bit more about Tyler Bradt, a kayaker who in 2009 set an unofficial record for kayaking over a 189-foot waterfall, Palouse Falls in Eastern Washington. Crazy? Why, yes, it was crazy. People, Niagra Falls is 176-feet tall!

Even Bradt thought it was crazy, kinda. He said on the below video that "nobody even has come remotely close to running anything this big. I don't know. It's kinda crazy thinking about potentially running this thing."

Yet Bradt not only thought about running it, he did run it. See how it turns out here:

The video on vimeo.com was exquisitely produced by AuroraPhotos. The overhead footage showing Bradt in his kayak as he goes over the edge captures the intensity and speed of the whitewater. When he disappears in the cloud of mist, you find it hard to believe he could survive.

But, of course he does, otherwise he wouldn't be readying to make a 1,400-mile kayak/ski trip around an island in Northern Canada.

CNN recently featured Bradt and his epic journey over the waterfall. See the interview of this crazy kayaker here.

One thing is certain, Bradt will be hard-pressed to produce as dramatic video on his upcoming adventure as he did at Palouse Falls. But here's hoping he does.

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