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一列の蟻 

南極点への無補給単独徒歩を日本人で初めて成功させた冒険家の荻田泰永氏。彼が次に挑んだのは、12人の若者を北極圏に連れていくことだった。この遠征はカナダ最北端のバフィン島を舞台に、各々が荷物を満載にしたソリを引きながら600km以上も歩くというものだ。途中にあるのは小さな町がひとつだけ。その町を過ぎれば、ゴールの町クライドリバーまで無人地帯が延々と続く。スタートから三日目、海氷から島に上陸するときに砂地が現れた。砂地の上では摩擦が多く、ソリは進まない。そのため、迷路のように続く氷の上をたどりながらソリを引いていく。上空から見える彼らの姿は、まるで一列の蟻に似ている。自然の大きさを改めて実感させられた。

 

"A line of ants

The adventurer Yasunaga Ogita became the first Japanese person to successfully complete a solo trek without replenishment to the South Pole. His next challenge was to take 12 youths to the Arctic Circle. This expedition would involve each participant pulling a fully loaded sled while walking a distance of over 600 kilometers across Baffin Island, the northernmost region of Canada. The only sign of civilization during this trek is a small town during the middle of the route. After passing this town, until they reach the town of Clyde River, there will be nothing but uninhabited territory, stretching as far as the eye can see. On the third day, as they disembarked onto the island from the sea ice, they found large stretches of sandy soil. The sand would create too much friction, hindering the progress of the sleds. Therefore, they were forced to pull the sleds onto a maze-like route of ice wherever it continued to lead. From a bird's eye view, they looked like a line of ants. It was another reminder of the epic scale of nature.