"For those of you who have been monitoring the rapid melt, flooding and landslide situation around the North Coast, I’m sure you’ve been anticipating some communication from us.
Lawrence and I have been on the ground in Prince Rupert for some time now, watching the situation very closely, and assessing our options and opportunities. And that’s just what we’ve been given – a great opportunity. Given that the snowpack is still more than twice it’s normal level, that flooding has reached the 200 year mark, that slope stability of both snow and ground is highly unpredictable, and that both highway and rail access around Smithers, Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert is shut down by either flooding, landslide or other damage, we made a decision Friday morning to jump to Plan…oh, let’s say Plan F?!
This has been a classic case of the biggest challenge getting to the start line – for organizers as much as anyone! Hosting a real wilderness expedition in terrain like this in late June has always been a challenge, and as such we’ve had a number of backup plans and alternatives in place. But the current situation is a bit more than anyone anticipated. For a visual of just what the area is dealing with, visit the photo gallery at http://www.thenorthernview.com/
Enough with the scary news – this is really a good news email. Just to demonstrate the skill, experience and dedication of race management and local event partners, in the last 36 hours we have managed to throw out the first 2/3 of the race course we’ve been building for over a year, and completely replace it with a safe, accessible, stunning, fun, blow-your-mind scenic, once-in-a-lifetime race course. Securing permissions and support in record time, we have the partnership and cooperation of Tourism Prince Rupert, Northern BC Tourism, BC Ferries, local First Nations, and other secret critical partners to bring you a very different and very exciting version of Raid the North Extreme. Some of the access we’ve been given is only being made available in light of the current situation, so I’m sure you’ll appreciate and enjoy this opportunity.
Check out what we’ve got for you:
An expedition race with multiple stages (I know we all hate to admit it, but a bit of sleep can be nice)
Simplified gear list and related logistics (attached – we’ve removed the entire mountaineering section)
Camping 2 or 3 nights on the course, creating a great social atmosphere in some remote communities (be sure to switch out your survival tent for more comfortable camping gear)
Open doors and cultural involvement from a legendary First Nation
A course that encompasses magical island and seafaring culture and landscape Plus - the final 1/3 of the original course featuring the coastal areas around Prince Rupert, the incredibly rugged Coast Mountains, inlets with high probability of whale sightings, and the history and First Nations culture that has been a platform for this event since day one. In addition, we’re connecting some race legs on classic BC Ferries routes to add to the entire experience. We’re extremely excited about how this has turned out, and we’re sure you’ll agree. A new discipline update will be released the middle of next week. Lawrence and I are headed out tomorrow to fully test and finalize the new routes, and will have all the details for you soon. Happy Adventuring!