Exploration

Crossing Ellesmere Island with Ray Zahab

Episode 37

The extreme explorer shares why his attempted winter traverse of the High Arctic island was one of his most challenging — and special — expeditions yet

  • Apr 20, 2022
In February 2022, Ray Zahab was forced to cut short a planned traverse of Ellesmere Island after his team faced worse-than-expected winter conditions.
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We’re thrilled to have Ray Zahab back on the podcast. He was our very first guest back in 2019. Give that one a listen if you want a great overview of his amazing career as an extreme athlete and expedition leader travelling to some of the hottest, coldest, most remote parts of our planet. 

His latest expedition, a traverse of Ellesmere Island on foot and by ski in the depths of the Arctic winter, fits right into that mould.

What I love about this conversation is not just hearing what he saw and about the immense challenges he faced along with his partner Kevin Vallely and their team, but also his decision-making process in calling a temporary halt to that expedition in the face of far worse-than-expected winter conditions. And, how that decision making process has changed in his 20-plus years taking on these extreme kinds of journeys.

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