Driving Canada's Tuk ice road…for the last time

Winter isn’t coming. It’s here, and the cold is a thief; it steals your breath, burgles your body of all available heat and robs your sense of humour of any warmth.

Easy targets are fingers and toes, outlying embassies of the warm empire of your core, followed by any flesh not encased in fur or fibre. A hundred tiny, stainless steel claws for every nerve, exposed skin attacked and subdued in short order. You know it’s bad not when it hurts, but when it stops hurting, because at nearly -40°C, the slightest breeze has the anaesthetic effect of a pint of vodka. Pushing the temperature down to about -45°C, wind chill causes nerves to give the whole thing up as a bad job, throw their synaptic hands up and retreat, leaving your epidermis to fight its own battles. Stinging red becomes painful white, painful white becomes numb black, numb black… falls off.

Images: Mark Riccioni

This feature originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Top Gear magazine

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