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STEPHENVILLE Yves Leblanc, the Gatineau, Que. man attempting to set a new Guiness World Record on a snowmobile, has found some welcomed snow here in Western Newfoundland.
It’s been a long-time dream of his to travel every province across Canada on snowmobile and he has even added an Alaska segment as well to make up as much distance as possible for his world record run.

Leblanc said his first three weeks of the trek, which he has named the 2007 Snow Odyssey, has literally been flipped upside down. He started the trek on Dec. 27, 2006 and it is due to last until March 25, 2007.

It’s a single, non-stop round trip of the North American continent. The plan was for the “figure-eight” trip to start in Quebec, head east through each Maritime Provinces then west to Alaska via every province and territory except Nunavut, and then trail back to Quebec.

The aim is to set a new Guiness World Record for the longest snowmobile journey (the current record is set at 11604.6 kilometres. Leblanc says his record-breaking request attempt has been submitted to, and accepted by, the Guiness organization.

He said the trip will allow people of all ages to see all of North America in wintertime through the eyes of a snowmobiler — accomplished by posting a website — which will display a daily journal, a progression map of the voyage and pictures depicting beautiful landmarks and key milestones of the journey.

Leblanc wants to promote safe and respectful snowmobiling and said he is making use of a fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly snowmobile — he is driving a Ski-Doo Bombardier 600 GTC Ltd.

During the first part of his trip, he rather into some troubles with Mother Nature and had to cancel his P.E.I. and Nova Scotia segments due to a lack of snow; then ran into a 12-hour delay with the ferry between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

On Thursday morning he set off from White’s Road near Stephenville Crossing and was heading north to St. Barbe, and planned to go to Cartwright, then come back down through Newfoundland. If, by that time, there is snow in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, to go through those provinces as well.

Leblanc said if the weather co-operates, he is looking at traveling more than 25,000 kilometres, which will more than double the current record. He said while he realizes there are higher temperatures this year, and with global warming, that trend seems to be continuing.

“There seems to be warmer temperatures each year so there is some urgency in getting this done. I believe it’s doable this year and if I set the record, it will be hard to beat in the future if the warming trend continues,” he said.

Cal White of Addventures X in St. George’s, gave Leblanc some assistance with accommodations; while Central Service Station provided some maintenance on his snowmobile while in the area.

In addition to being rigged out with all kinds of safety and survival gear, he also has the latest in electronic gear, from a helmet cam to a tracer unit, which captures his positioning on the map every 15 minutes.


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