Skiing from North America to Greenland

We have just completed a vacation expedition skiing from Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic to Greenland! This trip was a commercial trip led by Richard and Josee Weber of the Canadian Arctic Holidays.

Our route went much further North than the originl plan due to a lack of sea ice in Smith Sound. The large polynia, North Water, never froze last winter and is now open well above the 79th parallel. It took eight days of skiing over some of the roughest ice that Richard had ever seen to reach Greenland at Annourtok.

After a day to rest at Annourtok in a nice house we crossed a portion of the beautiful but lifeless icecap and then skied down the Clements Markham Glacier to Pitaforik, where we spent the night in a small cabin, escaping the gale force winds outside. Finally we skied along the fascinating Greenland coastine to Siorpaluk, the world's most northern community. It was an incredible journey.

Pictures only tell a small part of the story, but here are some.

map

The trip route showing our camps and the big open water area, North Water.


Cambridge
Getting there - refueling at Cambridge Bay in the Central Arctic.


drop off
First Air drops us off on the snow covered sea ice.


Ricard
Our leader, Richard Weber, who has skied to the North Pole many times!


lunch break
Lunch break with Ellesmere Island in the background.


Jim
Jim skiis through rough snow.


Louise
Louise negotiates ice too rough for skiing.


ice
Beauty abounds despite difficult travel.


camp
Camp includes two tents.


inside
Inside is great for relaxation.


sealhole
Seals and their breathing holes were common.


bear tracks
Despite many bear tracks, we saw no bears.


Annourtok
Annourtok, Greenland at last - reached after 8 days on the ice.


wall
Icecap snow is firm and makes good blocks for structures.


gale
A gale force wind speeds our way to the edge of the icecap.


glacier
Descending the Clements Markham Glacier from the icecap...


to the sea
to the sea!


beach
A nice beach, but a 10 foot drop to get to it.


Diebitch Glacier
Diebitch Glacier we fortunately passed on sea ice.


slope
Difficult ice foot traverse.


Neke
Neke seemed like paradise.


low overhead
One last obstacle, we hope.


ice is gone
Oh no, the sea ice is gone! We have to cross the glacier.


descent
Getting down from the glacier is the hard part.


islands
Large islands off shore in the Baffin Bay.


Siorapaluk
Siorapaluk, Greenland, the world's most northern community, where the Inuit live by hunting using traditional methods with dogsleds and harpoons.


Josef's house
Our host, Josef, and his very nice house had room for seven of us.


water
Josef re-stocks the water supply for the kitchen.


meat
Meat is stored here high above the dogs - all year 'round.


seal skin
This ringed seal was yummy! The skin will become kamiks (boots) after drying and chewing.


fish
Fish are dried for later use.


dogs
These pups will soon be trained to pull a sled. Note the small walrus skull just laying there.



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