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An Evening with Adam Shoalts

Thursday Nov 07 2019 7:00 pm, Saskatoon, Travel Alcove

Discussing and signing Beyond the Trees: A Journey Alone Across Canada's Arctic (Allen Lane)

With his trademark doggedness fueled by his unquenchable love of nature, Adam Shoalts sets out in the spring of 2017 to trek across Canada’s arctic from west to east. He must time his departure by the breakup of the spring ice, then sprint across 4,000 kilometers of inhumanly rugged terrain to arrive before winter closes in.

Between his starting point in the Yukon, and his destination in Nunavut, lies a maze of obstacles. Any one of them would be daunting to even the most adventurous explorer. He must travel, alone, up the Coppermine river, a route that only the most expert whitewater canoeists dare travel even downstream. He must pole for days through the pack of Great Bear lake, portage across fields of jagged rocks that stretch to the horizon, paddle through gales, and navigate labyrinths of swamps, tormented by mosquitoes every step of the way. And the race against the calendar means that he cannot afford the luxuries of rest, or of making a mistake.

But his rewards are beyond reckoning: the crystalline arctic water that allows him to see to the bottom of fathomless pristine lakes, the company of wolves loping curiously alongside his route, the astonishing diversity of the Arctic ecosystems, from the countless lakes of the swampy wetlands to the dunes of a northern desert.

Heartstopping, filled with wonder, and beautifully attentive to the majesty of the natural world, Beyond the Trees captures the ache for adventure as only an adventurer can.

Adam Shoalts has been called one of Canada's greatest living explorers and in 2017 completed a nearly 4,000 km solo journey across Canada's arctic. He is the author of two previous bestselling and award-winning books: Alone Against the North and A History of Canada in Ten Maps. He is also an historian, archaeologist, and geographer. Shoalts's doctoral research at McMaster University examined the influence indigenous oral traditions had on European explorers in Canada's subarctic and West Coast. He has done archaeology in four countries and enjoys long walks in the woods.