Tuktoyaktuk receives few visitors. The village in the far north of Canada has no restaurant or hotel. Downstairs, there is extensive snow and above, the vast Beaufort Sea and the North Pole.Tourists are rare.
Last week, a "shaggy beard" French stormed the village of 500 inhabitants. He had spent nearly three months at sea had not seen the shadow of a shower since that time. To spice up the scene, adding that Charles Hedrich arrived at the train.
The French adventurer left Alaska on July 1 for his latest adventure, which is to cross for the first time the passage of the Northwest rowing. But despite the melting of ice and water equipment more sophisticated, the dangerous passage has lost none of its pitfalls.
By the middle of his journey, when he saw surrounded by ice, Hedrich had to give up his successful feat this summer. Landed on September 9 in Tuktoyaktuk, he spent a few days in store his vessel into the house of Inuit. He has since returned to Paris and intends to finish the crossing next season.
"Until the end, I kept hoping to complete the crossing in a season.But it was a year with lots of ice, says the adventurer, joins Paris. I would be stuck. Then he had to go to the evidence.
"I do not take umbrage, Amundsen took three seasons to cross the passage," says the French, referring to the Danish Roald Amundsen, the first to cross the Northwest Passage in 1906, in a sailboat 21 m, the Gjoa .
Hedrich has already crossed the passage there four years, but the sail and the more usual meaning is to travel from east to west. This time, he went to Alaska to reach Greenland.
Several expeditions blocked
But while several expeditions were intended to overcome this was the famous passage, the weather is capricious shown. Many Inuit and scientists met by Charles Hedrich have mentioned to him that the ice had been present more this summer than in years past.
A Canadian expedition was also to negotiate the crossing the train - though a shorter route than the French - also had to give up prematurely. An American reality TV show planned for its filming participants overcome passage watercraft. They were also forced to retire.
Richard Weber, a polar explorer who lives in the Arctic for years, confirmed in an interview with the Vancouver Sun, the significant presence of ice. "It must be the coldest summer since 2000 season. The Northwest Passage is blocked by ice. "
Charles Hedrich did not hide, he would have preferred a successful crossing of a sudden. But he sees forced to Tuktoyaktuk as an opportunity to stop. He has come back this winter, the Dempster Highway, which starts from the Yukon to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Then it will cross 200 km remaining to Tuktoyaktuk by taking a frozen road that exists only in winter. "I want to see the winter there," he said.
It will resume its voyage next summer. Already, he believes that even truncated, the adventure was worth it. "From everything I've done as expeditions - to the North Pole, Antarctica, in the desert, the Himalayas, during my round the world sailing - is shipping where I saw most animals, launches Hedrich. Whales, walruses, seals, caribou ... There was an absolutely fantastic in nature. "
ICE ROWER prepares to winter over with a family in Tuktoyaktuk NWT.