Ottawa, CANADA - For two seasoned adventurers it proved to be one of the hardest treks of their lives, but in the end, the ‘Siberian Express for Water’ was a success - as Ray Zahab of Chelsea, QC and Kevin Vallely of North Vancouver, BC walked away with another incredible record under their frozen belts.
The two men finished their 650km unsupported trek across Lake Baikal, one of the world’s largest bodies of fresh water, in 13 days 16 hours, more than a week ahead of the previous record. They did it thanks in part to the motivation they received from their live interaction with thousands of students along the way.
“We were on the ice the entire time, battling to keep moving north and maintain an average of 50km per day, waking up buried in snow and battling winds so strong that we were literally stopped in our tracks” recalls Zahab. “What really kept us going were the incredible discussions we had with the students throughout the trek and knowing that they were not only getting something out of this from an educational perspective but that they were giving back by raising money to bring clean water to people in Africa.”
Through the impossible2Possible experiential learning program, students were encouraged to raise money for two clean water projects in Africa. To date students have raised close to $12,000 for the two charities.
The Siberian Express For Water marked the first leg of the impossible2Possible Twenty10 H20 Initiative. In mid-April the second stage of the i2P World Expedition Series will take place in the North African country of Tunisia. The expedition will see a select group of i2P Youth Ambassadors run and trek across nearly 250 kilometres of this incredibly diverse landscape over a span of 10 days or less. The journey through the northern Sahara, where clean drinking water can be a scarce commodity, will contrast the abundance found in Lake Baikal.
impossible2Possible(i2P) is a 501c3 U.S. non-profit and currently awaiting approval for Canadian Charitable status. i2P’s mission is to enable youth to reach beyond their perceived limits, and to use adventure as a platform to educate, inspire and empower our global community to make positive change.
Siberian Express For Water sponsors:
Gatorade, Stratos Global, Satellite Communication Source, Iridium, Apple, Nathan, Kahtoola, Canada Goose.