As its rigorous testing continues, Jonathan Lucas of Whitehorse takes the SKOOKUMbrand® Yukon Anorak to the limits of physical exertion in cold climates during the Yukon Arctic Ultra, the world’s toughest human-powered winter race.
Lucas, an avid winter sports enthusiast, skijored with 3-dogs over 100 miles to win the arduous race. Jonathan reports that the anorak outperformed anything he has ever used, noting the jacket’s exceptional venting abilities. As a winter outdoor enthusiast and a northerner, he is keenly aware the key to staying warm is staying dry, he reports “the anorak is incredible because you can open the neck and underarm zippers, loosen the drawstring waist and the jacket acts like a bellows during heavy activity, wicking any moisture out”. He adds, “and when you stop to make camp, you simply close all your zippers to stay warm. There’s no need to carry additional camp clothing or heavy parkas”.
Jonathan has used many other products that claim to do this through their high-tech fabrics and layering systems, but notes that none of this gear measures up to the Skookum design, which is a modern adaptation of centuries-old Inuit design. He further notes that the anorak provides real freedom of movement and it stands up to hard wearing; something a skijorer takes seriously due to the significant time spent being dragged over snow and ice.
“The challenge for cold weather gear is to overcome condensation which forms on the inside layers of clothing as a result of perspiration” says owner Jake Duncan. The amount of moisture a person expires during heavy activity can be measured in liters per hour. If that moisture doesn’t vent, cold weather clothing quickly loses its insulation value. Staying warm in the Yukon Arctic Ultra is a challenge as racers must exert great amounts of energy to get to the finish line, which can be days away in very cold temperatures.
Aside from taking on the world’s toughest marathon and training for a winter’s worth of dog sledding races, Jonathan Lucas and his partner Laura are busy reviving dog mushing as a popular northern sport. The two leaders in the sport are starting a regular monthly race called the Copper Haul Twister located in Whitehorse, where people can regularly get together to train, race, and enjoy the great outdoors with their dogs.
Northern Garments would like to thank the dog mushing and skijoring duo for testing its anoraks, sharing their time and expertise, and providing essential feedback in the development of SKOOKUMbrand® gear. Northern Garments would also like to recognize their efforts in reviving an important winter sport via the Copper Haul Twister…where all the cool dogs go!