It's no secret that glaciers have been retreating and thinning over the centuries. Because glacial age ranges from a few hundred to several thousands of years, they are prime mediums for observing the impact of climate change. By checking out crevasse dynamics, fractures caused by stresses of movement, we can see that when the ice shifts and meltwater flows into them, the deeper the cracks on the surface of the shelf will become. Due to the observed state of the cross-cutting crevasses on Dennis Glacier in the Yukon and the impassable Washburn-Bates route to Lucania, we know climate change is happening. But we can do something about it.
Photo: Dennis glacier - heavily crevassed approach to Mt. Steele & Mt. Lucania.
While there's no denying that these outdoor pursuits are selfish, they provide a means to observe impacts first hand and an inspiration to offset as we all plan to get out and explore in the wildest of places. In order to actually get to these remote regions, we must use convenient forms of air & land travel. It is possible to be mindful of environmentally sensitive travel at the same time, and discover ways to reduce this negative impact. One way to combat climate change is through carbon offsets. These are reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. For the Lucania Expedition, we calculated the fuel emissions for each route and transport taken during the expedition in an attempt to equalize our impact.
Photo: Return Flight. Shot by Michael Schmidt of Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
We chose to offset our commercial flights from Calgary to Whitehorse, our road travel between Whitehorse and Burwash Landing as well as all our glacier flights. It amounts to 3.75T.
With a bit of research and a few clicks, you can calculate your impact and be on your way to offsetting. With CarbonZero, one of Canada’s top carbon offset companies, you even get to choose which project you want to support. These initiatives ultimately help mitigate the negative effects from travel.
Given that we both have French Canadian roots with heritage in La Belle province, we opted to have our money go to the First Nations Forest Carbon Project on Nionwentsio Land – west of Quebec city. Learn more here.
Photo: Nionwentsio Land.
A special shout out to our sponsors, who made this last pursuit to the Yukon possible:
Lead Sponsor - PrimaLoft
Major Sponsors - Granite Gear, Mountain Hardwear and Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Support Sponsors - SPOT, Globalstar, Hilleberg the Tentmaker and Midwest Mountaineering