BREAKING NEWS: DONEGAL ICE TREKKERS COMPLETE 1,000-MILE ARCTIC CHALLENGE!

first_imgHello from the Arctic: The Donegal team complete 1,000 ice trek challengeBREAKING NEWS: Donegal men Denis Ferry and Les O’Donnell – with top photographer Paul Doherty – have just completed their incredible 1,000 mile drive through Alaska, driving the Dalton highway and arriving at the frozen arctic ocean some 350 miles north of the arctic circle .“The 1000 mile journey up and down the Dalton Highway was a success,” said Denis a short time ago.“We had a few dodgy moments along the way we still had time to take a few photos at the Arctic Circle!” Kilmacrennan man Paul took this pic to prove their fantastic trip in -30C temperatures – and there was even room for a Donegal scarf!Les and Denis undertook the challenge in aid of three local charities – Donegal Hospice, Friends of Letterkenny General Hospital (the COPD unit) and Cairde la Cheilie (friends together supporting people with disability).All monies raised will be given to the charities. Denis, Les and Paul paid for their own flights and accommodation while Hegarty’s Ford Letterkenny are sponsoring both jeeps and all fuel used is sponsored by Top Oil in Bonagee. Other sponsors included PPG Auto paints Letterkenny, Carpet Interiors, Irwin electrical, LK bikes, Pinehill Warehousing and Media Box.Denis and Les have chosen the charities for their own personal reasons. Fundraising will take place from a mix of selling tickets, one for each mile completed. When you buy a ticket you will be entered into a draw with the winners drawn after an evening of sharing stories, photos and perhaps even video footage of the men’s trek.The event will be held in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny on 26 April 2013.This was their update – sent a short time ago:The three of us are genuinely delighted to have completed the entire journey of 1000 miles here in Alaska. The journey from Deadhorse back to Fairbanks proved to be the most difficult so far and we encountered a few problems along the way but nothing to stop us completing our journey.As we got ready at Prudoe Bay to begin the 240 mile Ice road drive to Coldfoot we spoke to a few truckers who warned us of the extra traffic expected after the Easter weekend and the icey road, they were right! After refueling, thanks to Gabriel Duffy of Top Oil, at Prudoe we noticed the Oil Rig quickly disappearing which meant a snow storm was fast approaching, as we got on the road the ‘white out’ soon covered the entire area. This was strong winds with blowing snow which at one point limited visibility to a just few meters and lasted for around an hour, this was extremely difficult to drive as the road was a sheet of ice which meant stopping quickly was impossible and we were meeting oncoming Trucks on the road. It took full concentration from Leslie who was driving and Denis who was on the CB to ensure we not only stayed on the road but warned oncoming traffic of our location as Trucks on the road here drive in the centre of the road as the roads are very narrow. During this time Paul was hopping around the back of the Jeep recording everything possible, between hanging out the sun roof until it was “f**king freezing” as Paul said several times to mounting cameras on different parts of the jeep to ensure nothing was missed. Luckily the skillful driving of Leslie got us through the white out successfully and served as a reminder that we have to respect the road and the elements here, there is no room for complacency. After we cleared the white out we had the difficult Atigun Pass to cross which was one of the most difficult parts of the journey on the drive northbound. Denis had taken over driving at this stage while Les was on navigation duties, the weather here was perfect as we had clear blue skies which was a big help however with the added traffic on the road the pass was difficult to cross but luckily we made it without any major hiccups.Everything was going fine from then on until disaster struck… around 60miles from our destination Denis noticed a drop in performance thus putting on an engine light in the jeep which he and Leslie immediately had to look at as the point we had stopped of the road was very narrow. Straight away the lads took action, remembering the advice got from Ice Road Trucker Jon Norton, Leslie took the CB and radioed our location and the problem.. Denis jumped out of the car and on opening the bonnet the steam rose out which made us think we are in trouble here. The fact we were on a very narrow section of the dalton highway was one problem but temperatures was another… the sun was setting which meant the already -20 temperatures would decrease at a very fast pace once the sun sets. We were aware of this as the work began on the vehicle so Leslie and Denis worked fast to get it fixed asap while Paul got some great footage much to the annoyance of Denis and Les! The problem was caused by a burst water pipe spraying water onto the ignition system but proved to be fixable for the two car garage owners and after sometime we got the car on the road again. Once we got to Coldfoot Denis and Leslie checked over the jeep again to ensure the repair was ok and gave the rest of the jeep a check over and luckily it was all fine… The problem occurred after all the severe bumps along the Dalton took its toll on the jeep.Sitting in Coldfoot we got a well deserved local beer at the most northerly bar in the USA and a lovely dinner cooked up by local resident Roisin. That night Paul went out chasing the Northern Lights and ended up staying out until around 5am watching the magnificent light show over head.The next day we were up at 7 to get ready for the 260 miles southbound to Fairbanks, after a ‘truckers breakfast’ we headed off southbound on the road which had been blown with hard winds since we drove up it resulting in it being covered in a sheet of Ice, luckily the driving ability of both Denis and Les ensured the jeep stayed on the road even when sliding and sometimes facing across the road instead of down the road!! We stopped in at the Arctic Circle for some lunch and a few pictures and carried on the journey south which seemed like a completely different road compared to what we drove up on… The weather had a big part to play on the entire journey and it also meant we had to take the bridge over the Yukon River this time as they had closed the Ice Road.Finally reaching the end of the Dalton Highway we can say it was an absolutely amazing experience and some of the scenery was breathtaking to say the least. Over the next few days we will be posting up a lot of pictures and video on our Facebook page so keep an eye out for it. At the end of the day we have to remember this epic journey had one cause and that was to raise money for three very important local charities so if anyone would like to get in contact to make a donation and/or buy a ticket for the Draw to be held in the Mt Errigal Hotel on the 26th of April, where we will show the video and there will be music by the Cufflinks.. with free entry this proves to be an eventful night as Paul says he already has some great embarrassing clips of both Denis and Leslie!!Thanks to all our sponsors to date and if anyone wants to make a donation or buy a ticket to get in contact with us either through Facebook or by ringing us directly.Over the next few days we will be catching up on sleep before we begin our journey back to the hills of Donegal!Thanks again,The Donegal ice Road TrekkersBREAKING NEWS: DONEGAL ICE TREKKERS COMPLETE 1,000-MILE ARCTIC CHALLENGE! was last modified: April 3rd, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:000-MILE ARCTIC CHALLENGE!BREAKING NEWS: DONEGAL ICE TREKKERS COMPLETE 1last_img

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