Sarah McNair-Landry: Conquering Baffins Frozen Frontiers

Is it possible for one person to do it all? Sarah McNair-Landry has proven that the boundaries of adventure can indeed be shattered. Embarking on a daring multi-sport expedition across the remote landscapes of Baffin Island, Canada, Sarah spent an awe-inspiring 45 days pushing the limits of skiing, climbing, and whitewater kayaking.

Her remarkable journey, titled “A Baffin Vacation,” encapsulates her battles against unfathomable conditions while capturing breathtaking visuals of her expedition. Hailing from polar explorer lineage as the daughter of renowned adventurers Maddie McNair and Paul Landry, Sarah was raised on Baffin Island—a frozen paradise where snow falls year-round and roads are mere distant dreams. Her childhood involved dog sledding with huskies, mastering the art of survival, and thriving in extreme conditions alongside her brother. Today, she has become a professional explorer, filmmaker, and photographer, spending two decades pushing the limits of human endurance in the harshest corners of our planet.

Sarah McNair-Landry ad Erik Boomer on 'A Baffin Vacation'
Sarah McNair-Landry ad Erik Boomer on ‘A Baffin Vacation’

For Sarah, the coldest temperatures she has endured are beyond measure— thermometers only go as low as minus 40. With a relentless passion for snow, ice, and
bone-chilling escapades, she ventures into one of the most frozen corners of the Earth. Skiing, kayaking, and climbing become her modes of exploration across a vast Arctic
expanse of ice and snow. Among her many remarkable achievements, kite-skiing holds a special place in Sarah’s heart. Teaming up with her brother, she kite- skied 3,300 kilometres, retracing the historic Northwest Passage, conquering rough ice, polar bears, and treacherous open waters.

Her unwavering determination and love for the outdoors have propelled her to become a force to be reckoned with in the world of exploration. Sarah didn’t document her epic Northwest Passage journey in film, but lucky for us she has since featured in a number of films that share her adventures. In 2018 Sarah and her pro-kayaker boyfriend Erik Boomer towed their white-water kayaks 1,000km over the Greenland ice cap to reach the northernmost river ever paddled along with pal Ben Stookesbury. The film Into Twin
toured the world as part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Conquering Baffin's Frozen Frontiers
Conquering Baffin’s Frozen Frontiers

Sarah and Erik’s latest film “A Baffin Vacation” defies conventional notions of a typical romantic getaway. Sarah’s expedition through Baffin Island was a unique challenge as she and Erik became both the subject and filmmakers of their own adventure. Balancing physically demanding activities with the need to capture her journey on film, she persevered despite the hardships. Carrying all her own expedition supplies, climbing gear, kayak equipment, and provisions for 45 days, she prioritised a lightweight approach, resulting in limited camera equipment and battery power. Every opportunity to film became precious, with careful maximisation of her small solar battery setup.

Kayaking, Rock Climbing, trekking were all part of their 'vacation'
Kayaking, Rock Climbing, Skiing and Trekking were all part of their ‘vacation’

Reflecting on a mishap during the arctic odyssey, Sarah shares a humorous anecdote. Whilst Erik was hauling his kayak across a thin ice pan, the frozen surface unexpectedly
gave way, plunging him into the frigid depths of the Arctic Ocean. In that crucial moment, Sarah faced a choice: to film the incident or offer immediate assistance. Opting to help, she quickly extended a kayak for Erik to cling onto. As Erik regained his footing on the slightly thicker ice, he humorously looked at Sarah and remarked, “Why didn’t you film it?” The lesson was learned—film first, help second.

Sarah McNair-Landry’s indomitable spirit and insatiable thirst for exploration have elevated her to legendary status in the realm of adventure. Her awe-inspiring escapades in Baffin Island showcase the remarkable heights that can be achieved when passion meets determination. “A Baffin Vacation” stands as a testament to her unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries, capturing the raw beauty of nature, and inspiring others to embark on their own extraordinary journeys. You can see A Baffin Vacation at the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s Radical Reels tour this coming October.

Stream online ‘A Baffin Vacation’ as part of the Radical Reels 2023 program, now available on AdventureReelsTV HERE

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