On Thin Ice
Breakdowns, Whiteouts, and Survival on the World
Every year, a fleet of truckers travels beyond the northern equatorial line to the Arctic Circle, battling subzero temperatures and perilous conditions. Though treacherous, it is a region heavily endowed with natural resources. Locating this abundance of natural gas, conflict-free diamonds, and gold is relatively easy; extracting and transporting these goods is another matter entirely. The elite truckers chosen to deliver materials vital to these efforts spend two months traveling distances greater than Western Europe on naturally formed roads of ice that is only sixteen inches thick.
It is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.
For more than twenty years, Hugh Rowland has survived the ice roads like none other. Each year when the temperature plummets, Rowland leaves his family in Vancouver, Canada, to drive 1,900 miles to Yellowknife, where he will begin his odyssey. Facing the threat of perilous avalanches, hundred-foot cliffs, and the ever-present danger of cracking through the ice, Hugh must push himself to the limit. The payoff is sweet, but Rowland isn't in it just for the money; he is driven by the camaraderie, the call to adventure, and the chance to battle the odds year after year.
From the first snowstorm to the final thaw, On Thin Ice traces the history of ice road trucking, chronicles Rowland's preparation for the trek, and follows him through his perilous journey along the infamous ice roads. Take a ride with Rowland as he recounts tales of epic breakdowns and breathtaking heroism that are just a daily part of the job. In this classic battle of man and machine versus cruelest nature, only the strong will survive to see their payday, their families, and the chance to do it all over again . . . on thin ice.
WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER . . .
"You've never experienced winter until you've lived through one in the far north. It starts in October and doesn't let up until mid-April. The temperatures drop to minus 70, with winds blowing 60 miles an hour. At that temperature, you throw a pot of boiling water or coffee into the air and it will instantly vaporize and turn into snow. It's cold as hell, but it's also full of riches: silver, gold, uranium, diamonds, and oil worth tens of billions of dollars. Locating these treasures in the frozen tundra is the easy part. Getting them out of the ground and bringing them from the frozen wasteland to civilization is a lot tougher. That's my job."
--From Ice Road Truckers
Title: On Thin Ice
Author: Michael Lent; Hugh Rowland
Steve Williams: Out of the Rough 2015 US$ 14.38 288 pages
The Boys in the Boat 2013 US$ 10.99 432 pages