In 2006, Ray Zahab ran across the Sahara Desert in an effort to raise awareness about the water crisis in Africa. The 111-day, 7,500km journey changed the course of his life: Ray returned to Canada and founded Impossible2Possible (I2P), an organization that educates youth through adventure learning and creates future leaders who will inspire social and environmental change. “There’s no magic formula for following your passion,” he says. “You just have to get started, take that first step, keep moving forward, and believe that you’re going to end up in the right place.”
In February and March of 2017, Ray embarked on his most epic adventure yet. Crossing the Canadian Arctic in three stages that totaled approximately 650km, Ray explored the uncharted and went deep into the rugged and remote. Leg one took him on snowshoe through the Torngat Mountains in Newfoundland & Labrador: a region only typically open to explorers in the summertime. For leg two, Ray crossed Baffin Island on ski, including a summit of the Penny Ice Cap. And for the final leg, Ray travelled the ice roads of the Northwest Territories by fat bike—roads that are essential for Arctic communities but that few ever travel.
On every leg of this epic journey, Ray travelled completely unsupported and self-contained: the gear he needed to survive travelled with him. It was also the riskiest and harshest time of year to be on the ground in the Canadian Arctic: winter means short days, long nights and unimaginable extreme cold.