• Beyond the Trees

  • A Journey Alone Across Canada's Arctic
  • By: Adam Shoalts
  • Narrated by: Adam Shoalts
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $37.80

Buy for $37.80

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A mesmerizing odyssey through an unforgiving landscape, and the rich history it reveals.

What does it mean to explore and confront the unknown? Beyond the Trees recounts Adam Shoalts's epic, never-before-attempted solo crossing of Canada's mainland Arctic in a single season. It's also a multilayered story that weaves the narrative of Shoalts's journey into accounts of other adventurers, explorers, First Nations, fur traders, dreamers, eccentrics, and bush pilots to create an unforgettable tale of adventure and exploration. 

Interspersed with his stories of navigating mazes of shifting ice floes, facing down snarling bears and galloping musk-ox, and portaging along knife-edge cliffs above furious rapids, are the fascinating legends, historic persons, and incredible anecdotes that make up the lore of the North. They include the saga of the Mad Trapper, a man whose feats of endurance and ingenuity were almost as legendary as his violent end; the story of the controversial Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a redoubtable dreamer but also one who was blamed for the deaths of his companions; the tale of the "Lost Patrol" of the Mounties who perished in a blinding blizzard; the formidable Tyrell brothers who together charted much of Canada's North; the eerie ruins of Fort Confidence that was built nearly two centuries ago on Great Bear Lake; and the decaying remnants of gold prospector David Douglas's cabin overlooking the Dease River. The North is indeed a perilous place. Also told in the book is the tragedy of John Hornby and his two companions who starved to death on the banks of the Thelon River; their bones are still resting just above the riverbank in shallow graves. 

Beyond the Trees also discusses folklore about wendigoes, strange lights, and the mystery of Angikuni Lake, where in 1930 an entire Inuit camp supposedly vanished without a trace. These mysteries and wonders are Shoalts's only companions as he sets out on his own path through the adventure of a lifetime.

©2019 Adam Shoalts (P)2019 Allen Lane

Critic Reviews

Shortlisted for the 2020 Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Award for Nonfiction 

National best seller

“[Shoalts] brings us along on his solo journey across the Arctic, infused with the wonder of seeing this majestic land and the urgency of making it back before winter sets in.” (Toronto Star)

“[A]mple moments of adrenaline and suspense and descriptions of breathtaking natural beauty in his voyages, but it’s his thirst for the unknown - the blank spots - that resonated.” (The New York Review of Books

“When reading Beyond the Trees, one gets the impression of author Adam Shoalts as a kind of Jack Kerouac meets Jack Reacher: an obsessive wanderer at his calmest in the midst of catastrophe.” (Atlantic Books Today

What listeners say about Beyond the Trees

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    66
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    57
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Impressive accomplishment but a boring story

The story is well written and I believe would appeal to nature enthusiasts, avid hikers, and people with similar niche interests. I, however, am an urban dwelling, father of two small kids, who works a 9 to 5 job and haven't seen a canoe since high school. The author describes his trip in a systematic way, with detailed explanations of his preparation, the scenery, and various challenges on route. I admire the effort and accomplishment, but the retelling lacks any sort of variety or character development. My mind would wander after about ten minutes of listening. A typical day went canoe, portage, canoe, repeat, drink tea, sleep, for weeks on end. If you are going to read it, I recommend reading it slowly over a few weeks with another book on the go for some variety. That was the only way I could actually absorb the material, and I still only got 3/4 of the way through.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

where was the editor ?

quit about halfway through. not enough interesting going on to contact. buy this if you have insomnia

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great adventures!

I first"found" Adam through his documentary Alone Across the Artic which you can get on Amazon prime. I was hooked! Since then I've purchased his audible books (and his recent hard copy release The Whisper on Winds, also in Amazon). He's a great storyteller. Fascinating historical facts are shared along with some handy advice if you ever plan on venturing out on your own. I will never be able to do this epic adventure so being able to go along the journey, with the actual person who did the journey, was fantastic!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Victor,Co

What a trip! Enthralling and captivating. Shoalts writes a story that’s for the armchair adventurers sans the bugs. More importantly he reminds us of the inherent need of all of us to seek,find, and absorb the nature around us and preserve it... imagine yourself actually having to get used to talking to people again. Good stuff

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Adventure Story

Amazingly told, put you right there, the details aren’t overwhelming, this listen kept me transfixed, from chapter to chapter, one of my Favorites on Audible so far, at nearly 60 plus Tittles, Audiitor is believable and Genuine who I believe is the Author, Great armchair Adventurer, and the remote places visited breathtaking A+

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic and anxious ride

This book keep me on the edge of my seat, like he is the author so you know he makes it but like how the EFF does one man, one young man, do that SOLO!!!! Enjoy this book and find out I mean, now I believe it’s time for me to Katie his advice and book a back woods camping trip. Thank you Adam for bringing me into this wild ride!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Adam's a badass and doesn't know it

Adams a badass his adventures are insane. the trips he takes are never ending not only is adam a beast physically his mental aspect is second to none.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-22

Inspiring!

A great listen that I would recommend to anyone interested in adventure or the environment.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Neil McLauchlan
  • Neil McLauchlan
  • 07-03-22

Terrible narration.

Terrible narration. The story should be beyond exciting and thrilling, but it is narrated with a monotone and absolutely no emotion. What should be a phenomenal listen was boring and tedious. Feels very harsh writing this but I lost interest and stopped listening less than halfway through. Very disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Patrick Powell
  • Patrick Powell
  • 09-27-21

Brilliant and absorbing

Fantastic account of a special endeavour. Really would like to see this presented as a tour in UK.... Maybe one day.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ian Ross Penney
  • Ian Ross Penney
  • 06-24-20

Fantastic

An amazing account of an incredible journey, very inspiring and well narrated, definitely worth listening to 10/10

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Natalie
  • Natalie
  • 12-10-19

A beautiful journey

Seeing the northern wilderness through the author's eyes made me consider the tundra differently. Also picked up a few good canoe camping tips!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-13-22

Epic Adventure

Well written and well read. A great captivating story of adventure and thought in the wilds of canadas north