Add the First Responder Recovery Project to your list of cool expeditions that are going on at the moment. It is the brainchild of Michael Ferrara, who is planning to ski more than 900 miles across Alaska, south to north. Along the way, he’ll be posting updates to the Outside Online Blog, which notes that Michael’s course will take him from the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean.
The first dispatch from Alaska was posted yesterday, with the news that Ferrara had arrived in Anchorage safely, along with his traveling companion, Lhotse. Lhotse is Michael’s dog, and from the sounds of things, he gets more attention than his master. He’ll also be trailing along on all 900 miles of this journey. Michael also announced a slight change in his route, but since he hasn’t set off yet, it is mostly a logistical thing. At the moment, he’s still finishing up his gear prep, and is busily cutting weight in hopes of going lighter and faster.
While skiing 900 miles through Alaskan backcountry should be quite an adventure in and of itself, Ferrara isn’t going just because he enjoys the outdoors. He is hoping to raise awareness of the high level of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is found amongst emergency response personnel. As a man who has spent 30 years of his life as a first responder in some form or another, Michael knows how important those men and women are, but he also knows the stress that that job can bring.
If all goes as planned, Ferrara should complete the expedition sometime in May. While most of us will be enjoying the warmer temps of late spring by then, in Alaska there will still be plenty of snow and ice. Especially in the north.
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