Adapt and Evolve- The Canoe-Sled: Ice Breakers Expedition

We have returned from our last trip of the season and what a finale it was! After a tough winter with many highs and lows (temperature wise) we came up against our final challenge of the season- a melting world! So rather than run away to the far north to find deep winter, we leaned in and adapted and time travelled to a time where season transitional travel was a necessity. And so with only a week to switch gear, we sprang (pun intended) into action and built canoe-sleds, purchased dry suits, rented canoes and found a very essential tool called a “pick-a-roon” or “pike pole”. With 4 adventurous and brave participants, six of us dove in with both feet (again, pun intended).

We navigated over 100 kilometers travelling around the north side of Killarney from Johnnie Lake all the way out to the North Channel of Lake Huron through Whitefish Falls. We were walking on water, launching into the open water, exiting onto thin ice, and portaging using winter and summer hybrid techniques that got creative. We gained an incredible amount of experience in this style of travel in a short two weeks in which we concluded that this was actually a really fun way to travel. The dry suits were such a great addition to our safety and weren’t actually that uncomfortable- It did make pee breaks more challenging however…

We had all types of weather in a matter of days with snow, slush, sun, rain, good ice, bad ice, open water, high winds and even days when the sun hat came out. There were times when people questioned why they signed up for such an adventure, but that’s when we lean in together and come out the other side proud, fulfilled and excited to go back out next year!

This was a style of trip that we’ve wanted to try for many years but it was hard to plan since how do you anticipate when the conditions will be perfect. But we realized that actually, we can make a trip like this work for routes that we’ve wanted to always try but because of large stretches of open water in some sections, we’ve steered away from those routes. But after this trip, we are keen and excited to go for some routes that we’ve never done before which have always felt too challenging.

We’ve learned so much from this trip and the one thing that was iterated to us was that adapting to what life throws at you is a sure way to have an incredible adventure. So our only question to you is: Are you in or are you in?! Ice Breaker Club 2025!