The Spell of the Yukon

Ilona feb 2017 cold.jpg


Only one person remains in the toughest race, in the coldest year of the race’s history.  Ilona Gyapay also now has frostbite, but she did an amazing job under unbelievably difficult conditions.  She completed 370 km while pulling a sled containing her survival provisions. Jethro De Decker continues the race.  Drink a warm cup of tea and imagine what it is like day and night out in the cold in -40C to -50C and doing this alone day after day.  The Belgian  Erik Scharpé  who dropped out of the race said he would never do it again, that it was a life threatening situation.  The Canadian northern wilderness in winter is always a danger zone and you need to think clearly and be strong in body and mind.  Robert Pollhammer after talking to Ilona writes on the event page, “After having seen so much frostbite this year I asked her if she thinks that being out in these temperatures is crazy? Her simple answer was “no”.”

It’s the great, big, broad land ’way up yonder, 

   It’s the forests where silence has lease; 

It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder, 

   It’s the stillness that fills me with peace.

 – Robert Service, The Spell of the Yukon