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PostPosted: November 30th, 2016, 10:01 am 
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I didn't see the book listed in the resources page and I've only seen a little discussion about him (mostly skeptical) regarding his "discovery" of an un-mapped/unnamed river a couple of years ago.

The book is called "Alone Against the North" and I read it few months back.
I liked the book - it's like reading the trip report from hell (this was not a canoe trip that I would take).

But he does clearly layout his justification for what he did and why he considers his claim to be valid.

Even if you don't care about the legitimacy of his "discovery" one way or the other it's still a good read.


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PostPosted: November 30th, 2016, 10:52 am 
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I've moved this thread to the "Books, Magazine Articles, Other Print Media" subforum.

Link to the publisher's page:
http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/4175 ... 0143193975

Link to Adam Shoalts' site:
http://adamshoalts.com/


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PostPosted: November 30th, 2016, 1:32 pm 
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I've read it. I admire Mr. Shoalts' determination and perseverance. He endured a lot of hardship on his trips. He is one tough guy. He documented what he saw and had it published. No one can take that away from him.

But at the same time, he took so many unnecessary risks. Inappropriate equipment for the task, lack of training and experience in running whitewater. In the book he tries to justify why he did this, but to me he falls short.

I also think he embellished a few details along the way. Does anyone really believe he passed close to a polar bear on shore that was baring its teeth and snarling at him? I'm not convinced. But maybe I'm wrong. I'm not overly familiar with polar bear behavior.

His writing style tries to emulate the British explorers of the 1800s. It seems a bit forced at times.

I read the book cover to cover, but I was actually getting aggravated by what I was reading many times.


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PostPosted: November 30th, 2016, 1:40 pm 
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KipawaRob wrote:

But at the same time, he took so many unnecessary risks. Inappropriate equipment for the task, lack of training and experience in running whitewater. In the book he tries to justify why he did this, but to me he falls short.


When he took the trip he was quite poor and didn't have a lot of money for gear - so yes his equipment wasn't necessarily state of the art. If you remember there was a scene late in the book where he was returning and was having his gear loaded onto a train when he was recognized by someone who had heard about him through the press.

The fellow was very excited and wanted to see his gear. He was crestfallen when Adam showed him his beat up cheapo canoe.

Quote:
His writing style tries to emulate the British explorers of the 1800s. It seems a bit forced at times.


I didn't find that at all. I found his style to be straightforward and conversational (but then I read economics books for fun sometimes....).


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PostPosted: November 30th, 2016, 2:47 pm 
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ameaney wrote:

When he took the trip he was quite poor and didn't have a lot of money for gear - so yes his equipment wasn't necessarily state of the art. If you remember there was a scene late in the book where he was returning and was having his gear loaded onto a train when he was recognized by someone who had heard about him through the press.



Here is where I find issue with this. Let's start with the Again River. Cost for Terry O'Neil is what, $250-300??? Cost for a boat shuttle from Harricana Bay to Moosonee has to be $1000 (it was $600 for pickup at the Partridge River for us a couple of years ago, and it is 1/3 the distance). Plus, gas to get to Cochrane and the put-in, food, etc. This is a $2000 trip easy. Then he brought a $50 canoe that would put lives at risk due to inadequate capacity and freeboard. Then, there is the trip to the nameless river. I don't recall the exact budget, but I think it was around $10k. Again, he takes the same $50 canoe. His priorities seem off to me.

Also, he is perfectly capable and smart guy. If he needs to fund an extravagant trip, why not get a job and save up for appropriate equipment? It might save your life.

I know it sounds like I am being really hard on this guy, but he took some big risks and then glorified it in his book like surviving near death experiences were a rite of passage for a true explorer. I hope people don't emulate him.


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