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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2022
    Posts
    48

    Auyuittuq Ski Traverse

    The classic Auyuittuq Ski Traverse travels between the communities of Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq, through Auyuittuq National Park, on southeastern Baffin Island. It is an incredible passage through a rugged landscape comprised of 85 percent rock and ice. Terrain dominated by steep granitic peaks, glaciers and powerful rivers makes for spectacular sights and arduous travel.
    The normal route travels the valley bottoms of the Owl and Weasel Rivers; however, there is tons of glaciated potential ski terrain to explore along the way. There are also other high means of passage through the park, which take high-lines across the glaciers.
    Depending on the type of journey you seek, there are numerous variations you can make to this adventure. The post details a trip where we hired a Pangnirtung local Inuit Outfitter, Peter Kilabuk, to tow us via snowmobile into Akshuyak Pass, where we started our ski trip.
    From there we towed our toboggans up the Turner Glacier and around Mt. Asgard and down the Caribou Glacier.
    Along the way we skied a couloir in-between Mt. Midgard and Mt. Asgard.
    Ski traversing on Baffin Island is different than most anywhere else in the world. Over the course of our first week in the park, we experienced overnight lows in excess of -40C and daytime highs of -25C. The terrain is challenging to say the least.
    Boulder strewn moraines impede access to the glaciers and make towing a toboggan full of food and winter gear extremely difficult.
    Over the course of three weeks in April, we endeavoured on through the park in search ski descents and adventure.
    We alternated between dragging our gear up onto the glaciers and camping high and camping at valley bottom and making day trips up to mountain top. Travelling in a southerly direction, we moved down the Weasel River valley back towards Pangnirtung.
    One of the most amazing experiences of the trip was sliding down the frozen Weasel River. Cascading rapids encased in ice made for a surreal ski touring experience as we crossed under the west face of Mt Thor.
    The Weasel River flows into the Pagnirtung fjord which was frozen. The sea ice made for good travel on the last leg of our journey.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    10,962
    Wow! Incredible. Stunning photos.

    -40 to -25 is intense - adds a whole other layer of planning to stay healthy and safe.

    Thanks for posting that up. What a magical place. On the bucket list for sure but maybe in summer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    3,201
    Looks amazing

    Thanks for posting

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    13,934
    Hollllyyyy cow . What terrain

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    8,304
    Dang

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    924
    Jeez Conor, wild and spectacular!
    You getting a resupplies or carrying 3 weeks of food and fuel with you? Whats the polar bear situation? You lugging a rifle around too?!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2022
    Posts
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by tang View Post
    Jeez Conor, wild and spectacular!
    You getting a resupplies or carrying 3 weeks of food and fuel with you? Whats the polar bear situation? You lugging a rifle around too?!
    The landscape is pretty surreal…It was quite humbling to think of the people who’ve existed there by living off the land without modern technology and freeze dried food. Another group came into the Park halfway through our trip and we were able to get a food delivery.

    Because it’s a National Park, no guns are allowed. Fortunately, polar bears don’t spend much time in the park as there isn’t much in the way of food for them. They spend most of their time on the sea ice hunting seals.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Mountain
    Posts
    1,156
    Amazing.
    (the colour of the text is hard for my old man eye's to read. Would've prefered white text)

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