North

German kayakers reach Bering Sea from Hay River, N.W.T.

Four months after shoving off from Hay River, N.W.T., high school buddies Jan Kruger and Janosch Hagen have reached the Bering Sea in Alaska after paddling the Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers and braving a 160-kilometre portage through the Richardson Mountains.

Journey of 4,500 km took high school friends from Great Slave Lake to Alaska

Janosch Hagen and Jan Kruger launched their kayaks in the Hay River May 14, as they set out on an epic journey that would take them all the way to the Bering Sea in Alaska. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Four months after shoving off in their kayaks from Hay River, N.W.T., high school buddies Jan Kruger and Janosch Hagen have reached the Bering Sea in Alaska.

The pair travelled about 4,500 kilometres on a journey that took them across Great Slave Lake, down the Mackenzie River to Tsiigehtchic, over a 160-kilometre portage through the Richardson Mountain pass and on to the Yukon River. 

The route included a 160-kilometre portage from Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., to Fort Yukon, through the Richardson Mountains. (CBC)

David Sim, a relative who's been in touch with the pair, says he received a call from Emmonak, Alaska, on the weekend announcing that they had reached the Bering Sea. 

"They have opened a bottle of Crown Royal to celebrate their achievements," he wrote in an update.

Both men learned to kayak specifically for this trip. 

Before setting out in May, the pair told CBC News they hoped to get out of their comfort zone. 

The pair plan to sell their kayaks in Emmonak and head to Anchorage.

Well ahead of their deadline of Sept. 27, they'll use the extra time to do some sightseeing before heading back to Germany.

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