PART I: Preparation at Base Camp Our journey begins in January at Kroka village. We live on a farm and homestead at the edge of the wilderness, participating in the life of community while preparing for a four-month long wilderness expedition. The training includes nordic, backcountry and telemark skiing, ice-skating, ice climbing, and strengthening and conditioning. We sew and construct several essential pieces of equipment, make knives and practice navigation. Each student chooses a key expedition team assignment, or “Big Job.”
Leg 1: Vermont's Green Mountains In early February, we depart on a two-week training expedition in the Green Mountains with a focus on winter wilderness skills. Traveling on skis and snowshoes, we learn winter camp setup complete with a student-made canvas tent, portable woodstove and evergreen bough floor. We develop an appreciation for winter, learn how our bodies respond to cold and practice traditional, indigenous and modern winter living techniques in order to not just survive, but thrive, in a winter wonderland!
Leg 2: The Chic-Choc Mountains We are now ready to head north. Our destination is the Chic-Choc Mountains, the furthest northern reach of the Appalachian chain on Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula. Here in the vast wilderness of Park National de la Gaspesie we will undertake a 100 kilometer traverse of the park on skis, spending our nights in the warmth of the mountain huts. Traveling light, we will focus on becoming competent backcountry skiers as we carve turns in the mountain terrain below and above the tree line. The Chic Chocs receive more snow than anywhere else in Eastern North America!