Jaret Moshenko is going to do something that has not been done by many people before and what a lot wouldn’t even dare do. He is going to snowshoe from Yellowknife Bay on Great Slave Lake to Hearne Channel in the East Arm of the lake. And Jaret is going to do it to bring awareness of the hardships those diagnosed with cancer have to go through.
I first heard about Jaret’s trek through his Facebook page and it really interested me. It said he was going to snowshoe 200 kilometers to Hearne Channel and then back again; so in total he’d walk about 400 kilometers, by himself in the winter, across a frozen lake. Naturally I wanted to know more.
Jaret was going to be alone this Christmas, being a nurse and working for the Territorial Government he will be off from work from December 22 to January 1 but he doesn’t just want to sit around and do nothing.
He recently noticed the struggles that many of the people around him were going through, being diagnostic with cancer and having to go through the treatment processes, which takes a lot out of a person, both mentally and physically. Jaret said it just didn’t seem right that he had all this time off to sit around while others had to suffer.
Those people inspired him, inspired him to represent the strength of those people.
Jaret’s trek to the Hearne Channel will take about 10 days, which he says is roughly the same amount of time it takes a person to recover from chemotherapy treatment.
The trek though, won’t be as easy as just walking a straight line. Jaret noted that when most people try to walk in a straight line they end up zigzagging in and out, so factoring in that the trek ends up being 200 kilometers each way. And to carry out that distance he says he will need to snowshoe 10 hours a day to cover between 35 and 45 kilometers each day.
Then of course the risk of not having the right equipment to keep Jaret going. Thankfully he has been donated a Pulk or expedition sled to carry all the gear he will need.
For shelter he will be pulling a winter rated tent, 5-star sleeping bag stuffed with a down sleeping bag and propane stove for heat. For connectivity he will be carrying a GPS beacon, which will send an email back to family and friends. Jaret will also have a satellite phone for emergency purposes.
Jaret said that food and hydration was one of the tricky aspects he needs to figure out. Currently his plan is to bake high protein/high energy cookies that he can keep within his jacket and eat as he is traveling. For water he will be carrying a small ice auger and drill holes as he moves.
One of Jaret’s biggest concerns he says will be his own stupidity. If he starts to over heat and sweat he could end up getting chilled and get hypothermia.
In order to overcome some of the obstacles of being out on the lake in the cold, Jaret is currently training on an elliptical, which best mimics walking with snowshoes. Once the snow comes and lakes freeze he will be spending weekends out on Walsh Lake testing equipment and learning how to control his body heat.
Jaret stressed that the trek to Hearne Channel is not meant to be the fundraiser, it is meant to represent the battle of cancer and treatment. However he has approached the Canadian Cancer Society and they have setup a donation page for the trek. You can find it here.
Upon his return to Yellowknife on December 31, 2012, Jaret will be hosting a New Years Party. The Black Knight has donated the Top Knight space and there are plans for a silent auction, live music and a DJ.
Tickets will go on sale for the party once more details are formed.
Whenever there is a need or a cause, Yellowknifers from far and wide will come together and Jaret can attest to this, even in the early planning stages of his trek. From Social Media help coming out of the US to donations from Manitoba, Ontario and even further north than Yellowknife.
To follow Jaret’s progress and trek when that time comes, like his Facebook Page: Hearne Channel Trek for Hope.