Four Degrees Celsius

A Story of Arctic Peril
by Kerry Karram
b&w illustrations & maps,
bibliography, index.


This true story began in August 1929. A group of eight prospectors, led by C.D.H. MacAlpine of Dominion Explorers, flew into the Arctic in search of mineral wealth. Grossly underequipped, the expedition ran out of fuel and was stranded above the Arctic Circle. Within days, Western Canada Airways sent a rescue team headed by Captain Andy Cruickshank, in what was to become the most extensive aviation search in Canadian history.
The searchers encountered trouble: turbulent weather, forced landings, and plane crashes. The prospectors were also struggling. Reduced to the diet brought for the sled dogs, they waited edgily for freeze-up and the anticipated crossing to Cambridge Bay. While Cruickshank and his team were reconstructing a damaged aircraft using “found” materials, MacAlpine and his men were forced to run more than 112 kilometres on barely frozen sea ice to arrive weakened at Cambridge Bay, where they still awaited rescue.

Kerry Karram on CFAX AM