British Columbia

Mother-daughter team traverses entire length of Coast Mountains on skis

Martina Halik and her mother Tania travelled 2,300 km in 6 months

Epic Journey

Now that it's over, the Haliks can finally celebrate the cross-country ski trip that took them from Squamish to Skagway, Alaska and saw them traverse the entire length of the Coast Mountains. (Raven Eye Photography)


It took six months and 2,300 kilometres: but they did it.

Martina Halik and her mother Tania have just completed a cross-country ski trip from Squamish to Skagway, Alaska, traversing the entire length of the Coast Mountains.

It's a feat they say has only ever been accomplished once before.

"I'm relieved that it's over but I'm sad that it's over," Martina Halik told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko. "I think it hasn't quite sunk in that we're not heading out onto the glaciers in a couple of days.

"It's quite shocking to be back in Vancouver on a nice sunny day."

The Haliks' journey was eventful but ultimately quite safe.

They suffered no significant injuries, although they were frequently at the mercy of the weather: rain, snow and sleet all dictated what they could do on a given day.

The most challenging aspect, Halik said, was crossing the Dean River, near Bella Coola.

They struggled to get their supplies across the icy, fast-moving waters and ended up "quite hypothermic" by the end of the ordeal.

"It was really the most difficult day of my life," Halik said. "It felt like everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong, without us dying."

epic 02

Tania Halik, 60, treks on through the leg journey between Bella Coola and Terrace. The Haliks just finished their 2,300 kilometre journey from Squamish to Skagway. (Raven Eye Photography)

And while the journey was arduous, Halik says it's not the biggest challenge her mother has successfully completed.

Tania Halik, while pregnant in the 1980s, escaped on foot from communist Czechoslovakia to reach Switzerland and then Canada.

Martina credits her mother's resilience in the face of that challenge with her composure during the Coast Mountain trek.

"It's been awesome. I wouldn't have been able to do it with anybody else," she said.

You can see photos from the Haliks' journey on their blog.

Listen to the full interview here:

Mother-daughter team traverses entire length of Coast Mountains on skis 7:48

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast

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