French man hopes to complete 7,000-km Northwest Passage trip

If he's successful, Charles Hedrich will be the first to complete the 7,000-kilometre trip from the Bering Strait to Greenland in just two seasons.

Charles Hedrich began trip last summer, but got iced in at Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T.

Here Charles Hedrich is pictured with two locals in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. in 2013, where he got iced in after trying to travel the Northwest Passage in one summer. He'll attempt to finish the 7,000-kilometre trek this summer. (Courtesy of Respectons la Terre)

A man from France has set off from Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. to finish an adventure that's a year in the making — the 7,000-kilometre trip across the Northwest Passage.

If he's successful, Charles Hedrich will be the first paddler to complete the trip from the Bering Strait to Greenland in just two seasons. 

Hedrich planned to paddle the full distance in a single season last summer, but he got iced in at Tuktoyaktuk and had to leave his rowboat there for the winter. 

But the 56-year-old has set off again. 

Hedrich says climate change has made his expedition possible.

Charles Hedrich, an adventurer from France, planned to paddle the entire 7,000-kilometre Northwest Passage last summer, but got iced in at Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. That's where he is in this picture taken in 2013. (Courtesy of Respectons la Terre)

"Well, the Northwest Passage was impossible, absolutely impossible to do due to the ice something like 10 years ago," Hedrick said. "Now, there is less and less ice in the summer, so it is probably possible to do it, even in a very light boat like my boat."

Like many summers, Hedrich is not alone in trying to cross the Northwest Passage. 

Another adventurer left Inuvik, N.W.T. in a kayak last month, and a group of women is planning to snorkel the passage in 2016.