China has been steadily increasing its presence in the Arctic since it defined the far north as a “new strategic frontier” in 2015 and began promoting a “Polar Silk Road” three years later. Moreover, in 2018, Beijing declared itself a “Near Arctic State,” a move that primarily served to underscore the interests of its Arctic claim.
The government in Beijing has its eye on lucrative minerals and other raw materials in addition to the Arctic transport link. There is particular interest in interests in the Canadian Arctic and in mining rights in Greenland. This is because the Arctic is rich in natural resources such as fish, precious metals and fossil fuels.
Reuters is reporting that China has unveiled its ambitions to extend President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative to the Arctic by developing shipping lanes opened up by global warming. The Chinese are calling it the Polar Silk Road.
“China hopes to work with all parties to build a ‘Polar Silk Road’ through developing the Arctic shipping routes,” the paper, issued by the State Council Information Office, said.
China, despite being a non-Arctic state, is increasingly active in the polar region and became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013.
Among its increasing interests in the region is its major stake in Russia’s Yamal liquefied natural gas project which is expected to supply China with four million tonnes of LNG a year, according to the state-run China Daily.
Shipping through the Northern Sea Route would shave almost 20 days off the regular time using the traditional route through the Suez Canal, the newspaper reported last month. COSCO Shipping has also previously sailed vessels through the Arctic’s northeast passage.
A morning shot of Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat. » Photography by Imrankhakwani
» 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level
» Located on the border between Nepal and the autonomous region of Tibet (OpenStreetMap / Google Maps)
» First summitted by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953
» Also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori
» 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level
» Located on the border between China and Pakistan (OpenStreetMap / Google Maps)
» First summitted gy Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni in 1954
» Located on the border between Nepal and India, approximately 125 kilometres from Everest (OpenStreetMap / Google Maps)
» At elevation of 8,586 metres (28,169 ft), it is the second highest mountain in the Himalayas
» First summitted by Joe Brown and George Brand in 1955 Continue reading
Updated June 1, 2019 to add link to his latest video.
In May 2014, Iohan Gueorguiev (website – YouTube – Twitter – Instagram) started cycling from the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The plan was to cycle to the tip of South America in a year, maybe a few more months.
It’s not the Iditarod, but about the 1,000-mile long Yukon Quest.
Elisa Shoenberger, writing in Deadspin:
Today, the Quest winds its way up through the Yukon and Alaskan wilderness, passing villages and remote houses along the way. The middle point is historic Dawson City, the capital of the Klondike Gold Rush, filled with casinos, dance halls, hotels, banks, and luxurious shopping back in the day. It was even once called “The Paris of the North.” The first musher to Dawson City wins a few ounces of gold, a nice nod to the city’s heritage.
The first race was won by Sonny Lindner in 12 days and 5 minutes; the fastest finish was by Allen Moore in 2004 in 8 days, 14 hours, 21 minutes. Aliy Zirkle was the first woman to win the race in 2000. The closest finish was in 2012, when Hugh Neff beat Allen Moore by only 26 seconds.
The Yukon Quest is a smaller and younger race than the Iditarod. The latter is better known and is much more commercialized, bringing bigger sponsors and media attention. There’s also a bigger prize for mushers who win or place high enough. It therefore attracts greater numbers of mushers: the Iditarod had 52 mushers participate this year while the Quest had 30. Some feel that the focus on money in the Iditarod has moved it away from the real stars of the show: the dogs and the mushers themselves.
For Leighan Falley, Alaska is more than home — it’s a calling. Leighan spent years as a ski guide and climber on the Alaskan range, focusing much of her energy on Denali. But after becoming a mother, she found herself unwilling to pursue guiding (and the dangers that come with it), instead taking to the skies as mountain pilot. Follow Leighan on the Alaskan adventures that enrich her life and legacy in Denali’s Raven.