Trek through one of the most remote national parks in the world on these backpacking trips into Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island. Choose the trip that best suits your time period and ability and enjoy hiking through this Canadian arctic wilderness.
Auyuittuq means 'Land that Never Melts'. It is a unique arctic wilderness of ice caps, mountain peaks, deep valleys and spectacular vistas on Baffin Island. This special wilderness has been protected as one of Canada's most northerly national parks. At the heart of the park is the massive Penny Ice Cap, whose radiating valley glaciers are still actively shaping the land. The glaciers flow down into the surrounding treeless valleys, where they melt into swift rivers that rush over the rock and tundra valley floors to the ocean. Above soar some of the worlds most picturesque mountains. This powerful landscape reflects the Inuit belief that time is infinite and unending. The harsh variable climate, only briefly moderated during the long days of summer, sustains a very limited number of plant and animal species.
The Auyuittuq Getaway is a perfect chance for a taste of true Arctic and best option for the beginner hiker. It is a 10 day circuit in the Weasel River Valley of Auyuittuq Park. From the Inuit town of Pangnirtung you take a boat to Overlord warden station, the southern entrance to the pass. Along the route you will follow the Inukshuks which indicate safe routes across moraines and rivers. By crossing the river on a suspension bridge you reach Windy Lake, Schwarzenbach Falls and you can even hike right to the base of a glacier. The turnaround point will be at the base of Thor peak which soars 1500 metres up out of the valley floor. It has the longest uninterrupted cliff face in the world. With much lighter packs you'll hike back to Overlord to meet the boat shuttle. Beautiful scenery, a lighter pack and some layover days make this trip the perfect choice for the novice trekker.
The two week Auyuittuq Classic hike explores the famous Pangnirtung pass. You'll travel a short distance by sea from the Inuit community of Pangnirtung to Overlord warden station, the southern entrance to the pass. The circuit route will take you up the Weasel River Valley to Summit Lake which marks the height of land in the pass and back to Overlord. Just before you reach the Windy Lake warden station you cross the Arctic Circle - an imaginary line at the latitude of 66° 33 1/2' North. You'll pose for pictures by the Inukshuk, a human shaped cairn of rock which marks the Circle. You will follow Inukshuks to the base of Thor peak which soars 1500 metres up out of the valley floor continue on to the top of the pass at Summit Lake. If time and weather allow for a day hike you may see Mount Asgard, the famous flat top peak before you return to the sea. This trip is a great adventure for an average hiker.
The Auyuittuq Traverse is a 14 day backpacking expedition from Broughton Island across Akshayuk Pass to Pangnirtung. A boat takes the group from Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island) to the mainland. Have your camera ready, you may see a seal, whale, narwhal or walrus. You hike up the Owl River Valley across moraines and fording several creeks. High in the pass is an awesome view of Mount Asgard thrusting through the surrounding glaciers like a scene out of Norse mythology. The flat top of its two cylindrical towers has been the goal of climbing expeditions from around the world. Beyond is Summit Lake where you begin oyor descent of the Weasel River Valley. You reach Thor peak soaring 1500 metres up out of the valley floor, with the longest uninterrupted cliff in the world. Further down you pass the Windy Lake and cross the Arctic Circle. With much lighter packs you reach Overlord, the end of the trail. This trip includes challenging river crossings, walking on uneven terrain, some steep grades, difficult footing and full packs for two weeks. This adventure is a great holiday for the experienced hiker who enjoys the challenge and likes to share this beautiful land with the other group members.