Icarus Project Sends Two Adventurers Across Northwest Passage to Denali

If you’re looking for a big, grand, and ambitious adventure to follow now that the winter climbing season is all-but over, then look no further than the Icarus Project. The brainchild of adventurers Matthieu Bélanger and Loury Lag, the goal of this undertaking is to climb each of the Seven Summits over the course of the next seven years. That doesn’t seem all that hard right? Well, here’s the twist. Bélanger and Lag will travel to each of the mountains under their own power and in unique and unusual ways. For example, when they climbed Aconcagua in South America, they first hiked and biked to the mountain, before climbing to its summit. Next up will be an even more challenging leg however, as they now plan to climb Denali in the spring, but not until after they’ve skied through the Arctic first.

According to ExWeb, Bélanger and Lag set out last Saturday from Repulse Bay in Canada on foot to cover 3000 km (1841 miles) to reach Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. Their route will take them through the Northwest Passage and their goal is to finish up in about 90 days. That still doesn’t get them to the mountain however, so once they’ve skied all the way to Prudhoe, they’ll then get on their bikes and ride an additional 1350 km (838 miles) to get to Denali itself, where they’ll actually finally get around to climbing the mountain. During the cycling section, the goal is to ride 185 km (115 miles) per day, provided the weather cooperates.

Despite the fact that they have just embarked on this journey, the two men are already looking ahead to next year’s expedition as well. ExWeb says that for 2021, they’ll look to knock off both Elbrus and Kilimanjaro, traveling between the two mountains by bike, kayak, and sailboat. In other words, the two adventurers are finding some really unique ways to tackle an adventure that has been done many times before. Now days, just about anyone can climb the Seven Summits, but it takes some real ingenuity and logistics to do something different.

Follow along with the team’s tracker to watch their progress.

Kraig Becker