Tania and Martina Halik completed an epic ski tour from Squamish, B.C., to Skagway, Alaska back in 2017 over 2,300 km of B.C.’s Coast Range, the largest temperate-latitude icecaps in the world – in the middle of winter and “spring.” It took them six months to complete.
Martina, 30, and her 61-year-old mother made for a strong team on the trip, which they were joined on by a camera crew for a few days. The end result was the film This Mountain Life. Along the ski, their food was airdropped and they encountered a number of difficulties along the way.
“Upon leaving Kitsault I was expecting more hardship and struggle. More epics. And certainly, more crap weather. We were in no way prepared for what actually happened; Fun!” wrote Martina on her blog.
“Those of you expecting more tales of struggle and woe while surviving in the wild, I’m sorry to disappoint – we are just as surprised and confused as you are. Absolutely nothing went wrong! Our gear didn’t break, the weather was perfectly gorgeous, the bears didn’t attack, and we actually found some decent skiing occasionally! Baffling.”
Martina remained very humble about their success, despite it being such a phenomenal achievement.
“One of the greatest parts of this journey has been the wonderful people we have met along the way. Often complete strangers going out of their way to help us: Alice with her prayers for our safety and tour of Kitsault. Tom driving us all the way from Terrace to the Nass Valley.
“Andy at Summit Helicopters giving us a wicked deal and saving us an epic bushwhack. Rob and his staff at Red Mountain treating us like royalty and giving us a free heli shuttle from the snowline down to Stewart the next day.
“The list of people that have contributed to our expedition seems to be miles long by now and still growing every day – we are so grateful and appreciative to everyone that has helped us on our way. A huge thank you to the generous people who contributed personal donations through website as well!”
The traverse was documented in the award winning This Mountain Life, which also features a group of nuns that inhabit a mountain retreat, a couple who have lived off the grid for nearly 50 years, Canmore ice climber Barry Blanchard and avalanche survivors.