Ty Olson was crossing Lac La Croix as of Tuesday and was headed toward Iron and Crooked lakes on his 250-mile ski trek across the top of Minnesota.
Olson, who is carrying a GPS transponder showing his location at all times, left civilization and the west end of Rainy Lake on Feb. 11. He expects to ski to Grand Portage on Lake Superior in about 30 days total. He filed this report Tuesday:
“From -40 to +40. Minnesota is absolutely bipolar. And the warm weather is worse than the cold. I’m camped just north of Warrior Hill on Lac La Croix, but to get here was a slog. The snow is wet, heavy slush, and while I have the right wax to keep my skins from sticking, there’s still no glide. Imagine stomping through a melted marshmallow with two aberrant toddlers in tow that you are literally dragging, that’s skiing with sleds at +40. I tried skiing after dark but the temperature hasn’t dropped. After 11 miles plodding through this today, I’m ready for the cold to return in a few days.”
Olson is breaking trail on his solo journey that is aimed at raising awareness of Native American issues and is raising money to provide firewood to needy people on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He's now raised nearly $30,000. To learn more or donate, go to skiforfire.com.