Dan Aubrey, a 35-year-old mechanical engineer from Chepstow, Wales, will be joining the Bennett-to-the Bering crew for one week on what is one of the most scenic sections of the river, from Carmacks to Dawson City, Yukon.
Dan has about 10 years canoeing and kayaking experience, and is an avid hiker and wilderness camper. He’s also an accomplished nature photographer. “I have a passion for photography,” he says, “mainly landscape. It gives me the perfect excuse to head outside in all sorts of weather trying to get that one perfect shot.”
Last autumn, Dan took his longest solo paddling/camping trip – four days and 100 miles – down the Wye River in his native U.K. The trip was more than just a good time, however. Dan made the journey as the first half of a two-part fundraiser to fight motor neuron disease, also known as ALS or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
The second part of the fundraiser was a hike to the top of Mt Toubkal, Morocco. At 13,671 feet, the peak is the highest point in North Africa, and the highest Dan has climbed to date. “The feeling at the top, apart from exhaustion, was awesome! As was the view! Morocco is a great place to visit, the scenery is outstanding and the people were so welcoming and friendly.
“I did the paddle and climb to raise money for charity, and I was blown away by the kind donations and support from friends, family and strangers. Their actions were the definitely the highlight of the whole experience and makes you realize how many kind-hearted people are out there!”
Dan’s desire to join the Bennett-to-the-Bering expedition is also a two-fold proposition.
“From a young age, I have always dreamt of kayaking in the Canadian wilderness and what better river to paddle than the mighty Yukon? The trip will push me beyond my comfort zone and challenge my skills as a kayaker,” he said.
“But selfish reasons aside, I am really looking forward to supporting John and his team in their worthwhile fundraising effort to help first responders and the great work that they do.”
Editor’s Note: Dan is one of six team members that took part in the 2018 expedition, and is the only member from the United Kingdom. Read the other team members’ bios to learn more about this unique group.