Arctic Road Trip Across Canada"> Arctic Road Trip Feb. 2012

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Cross Canada Winter Road Trip - Feb. 2012

From Toronto to the Arctic Ocean

Crossing Canada filming winter weather including avalanche experts, the Arctic Circle and a trip on the world's longest ice road onto the Arctic Ocean.

What an adventure. Mark Robinson and I went on what can only be described as the "ultimate Canadian winter road trip". We were filming several new episodes of the "Stormhunters" TV series for The Weather Network, and this was the most ambitious of them all.
 
We drove from Toronto, all the way across Canada, to the Pacific Ocean, then turned north and continued past the Arctic Circle, onto the ice roads and onto the frozen Arctic Ocean. The entire journey took 35 days in total (9 days just to get back home) and we covered over 17,000km. Plus, we did this in the middle of winter!
 
It was epic!

Road Trip Route

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Early in the trip, at the "Big Nickel" in Sudbury, Ontario as we head west.

The most interesting scenery I could find in Saskatchewan. The winter had been so mild, there wasn't even any snow.

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The mountain view at Rogers Pass, British Columbia.

Up in the mountains. Rogers Pass, British Columbia.

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The 105mm howitzer used by the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Rogers Pass to do their avalanche control.

Hanging out with the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Rogers Pass.

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One of the many snow sheds along the Trans-Canada Highway. Rogers Pass is home to the largest mobile avalanche control program in the world.

The avalanche control team digging snow profiles and "water-skiing" behind the SnowCat.

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A hoar frost covered tree in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia.

Hoar frost in the Okanagan Valley, central B.C.

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Hoar frost on a fence in the Okanagan Valley, central B.C.

Hoar frost in the Okanagan Valley, central B.C.

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Hoar frost on a fence in the Okanagan Valley, central B.C.

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The cold sauna at Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon, British Columbia. The chamber is set to -110 degrees Celsius! (-166F) That's colder than the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth! We spent 3 minutes in there wearing bathing suits. It was... Refreshing.

The display panel at the cold sauna where an air-lock type system uses a series of small rooms to go from room temperature to a mind-numbing -110C. (-166F)

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Fog Rays

Early morning for obscures Okanagan Lake as seen from Sparkling Hills, B.C.

Beams of light shine through a tree on a foggy morning in central British Columbia.

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Hoar frost on snow at Kootenay Pass, B.C.

Hoar frost on snow at Kootenay Pass, B.C.

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My ride to the top of the mountains - Kootenay Pass, B.C.

In a helicopter with the Kootenay Pass avalanche control team.

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Hyder

Magnificent British Columbia.

The main street in Hyder, Alaska.

Sunset

Alaska Highway

The view from the road between Stewart, B.C. and Watson Lake, Yukon.

The Alaska Highway between Watson Lake and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

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A "Yukon traffic jam".

One of MANY caribou along the Alaska Highway.

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The "Signpost Forest" at Watson Lake, Yukon.

The "Signpost Forest" at Watson Lake, Yukon.

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An owl watching me, watching him.

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Incredible northern lights on Valentine's Day, Dawson City,Yukon.

Incredible northern lights on Valentine's Day, Dawson City,Yukon.

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More aurora borealis over Dawson City, Yukon.

Northern lights sweeping over Dawson City.

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Green curtains in the sky over Dawson City, Yukon, Valentines Day.

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The Dempster Highway in winter.

Another stunning view of the Dempster. It was so windy that all the snow had been blown off the road.

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Ptarmigan on the Dempster Highway.

More stunning mountain views in the northern Yukon.

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Myself and Mark standing at the Arctic Circle. 5 minutes after this photo was taken, we were turned back because the road was shut down and completely impassable due to blowing snow.

Here's what the Dempster Highway looked like, and this was the GOOD portion. It's no surprise that it was closed.

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The skies cleared at Eagle Plains, the halfway point on the Dempster and the northern lights began to put on a really great show.

Great colors in the sky - Eagle Plains, Yukon.

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Northern lights through the trees - Eagle Plains.

More aurora madness - Eagle Plains.

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Day 2, waiting for the highway to re-open.

A gorgeous Arctic Circle sunrise at Eagle Plains along the Dempster Highway.

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Back at the Arctic Circle. This time the weather didn't stop us.

An abandoned car on the Dempster Highway. This is what happens when you ignore the travel warnings.

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The amazing landscape from the road, just south of the Northwest Territories border.

Arctic sunset.

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One of my favorites. The colors were out of this world. What a sunset!

We finally reach the Northwest Territories!

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The ice road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. Part of it is on the Mackenzie River and part is on the Arctic Ocean.

Driving on the Beaufort Sea, part of the frozen Arctic Ocean, en route to Tuktoyaktuk.

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Mark on the roof, getting the shot of the ice road.

Driving on the longest ice road in the world. The GPS says I'm driving on the Arctic Ocean... It is correct!

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Arctic landscape between Inuvik & Tuk.

Tuktoyaktuk at sunset. I used the window tint on the car to filter the sunlight.

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Mark on the sea ice at sunset in Tuk.

A light pillar above the setting sun at Tuk.

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A pingo outside of Tuk. They are mounds of earth-covered ice found in the arctic.

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Northern Lights - Tuktoyaktuk.

Aurora borealis reflected in the hood of my truck - Tuktoyaktuk.

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More amazing northern lights.

Northern lights above the cemetery in Tuk.

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Incredible reds and greens in the aurora borealis.

The sky, lit up like a Christmas tree.

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Ever wonder what it's like to look straight up into an amazing display of the aurora borealis? Wonder no more.

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Looking down at one of the many cracks in the ice road - Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.

Mark, the ice road speed bump.

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On the ice road near Tuk.

Yes, it was cold in Tuk.

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Mark Robinson, mushing the pack. Dog sledding north of the Arctic Circle in Inuvik, NWT.

Awesome sundogs in the sky caused by sunlight refracting through hexagonal ice crystals in the air. The temperature was about -18C.

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An extraordinarily bright sundog shines on a cabin outside Inuvik.

Yukon mountains on a nice, clear day.

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One of many ravens along the Dempster Highway.

Mark and I drank the "Sourtoe Cocktail" at the Sourdough Saloon in Dawson City. They drop a desiccated REAL human toe into your whiskey. You then do the shot and the toe must touch your lips!!

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A raven looking for a free handout.

This raven was getting very vocal but I refused to feed him, no matter how much he complained.

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We stopped to help with a flipped over car on the Alaska Highway. The driver was OK.

One of dozens of bison, feeding on grass alongside the Alaska Highway.

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The incredibly warm (HOT actually) Liard Hot Springs in northern British Columbia. What a great spot for a winter warm up.