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Man walks on (frozen) water

Dorothy Westerman
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 17/04) - Eating breakfasts of oatmeal, and lunches and dinners consisting of frozen sandwiches, did not deter Philippe Heitz from exploring the great white North.

The native of Switzerland set out from Hay River recently with skis and snowshoes to travel across the 11th largest lake in the world.

NNSL Photo

Philippe Heitz of Switzerland crossed Great Slave Lake from Hay River to Yellowknife on snowshoes. - photo courtesy of Ian Laws

Travelling between eight to 10 hours a day, his complete journey took 10 days to reach Yellowknife, including two days to visit friends at Moraine Point.

"I decided I wanted to experience a Northern winter," Heitz said of his 218-kilometre journey across Great Slave Lake.

"It's someplace you see every day on a world map," he said of the mammoth lake.

"With the help of my friend John Stephenson, I started planning for it last year," Heitz said.

Packing up his sled with supplies, Heitz began his excursion on skis, but soon found them to be too cold.

"It was like hiking in a freezer," the Swiss mister said.

"I switched to Northern footwear and had to carry them the rest of the way," he said with a laugh. While Heitz's trek was successful, his adventures are far from over.

"I hope to come back and hike along a Northern trapline," he said of his next journey.