Three-month canoe trip down the Yukon

A Hemel Hemstead fitness trainer will canoe the length of North America's Yukon River this summer, completing a 2,000-mile-journey through Canada and Alaska.

Saturday, 16th April 2016, 6:00 am
Ian Finch practises on the River Wye

Former Royal Marine Ian Finch, who leads British Military Fitness classes at Gadebridge Park, will be swapping press-ups and training runs for three months in a canoe.

Ian, aged 37, will lead team of three on an epic expedition to meet the native Athabaskan people and create a film and photo study about the changing culture of Alaska’s first inhabitants. The trio will also be collecting water samples to help scientists measure levels of micro-plastics in the river.

Ian’s journey starts in late May at the source of the Yukon River at Lake Bennett in Canada, and continues to the river’s end at Emmonak in the Bering Sea in Alaska.

The team will drift through the vast boreal forest which stretches around the northern tip of the globe and through the mountains and glacial valleys of British Columbia and eastern Alaska. En route they expect to see moose, brown and black bears, packs of wolves and golden eagles.

Ian said: “I’m driven to explore the impact of man and the changing climate on the Athabaskan people and the region’s wildlife. For example, the Athabaskans rely on king and Chinook salmon to live, but environmental changes and overfishing are making it difficult for these fish to find their way back up the river after their annual migration.” See