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Find out more details about the tour and its highlights
Baffin Island is an extremely remote area, but luckily we offer more than one way to explore it. It’s up to you as to which secluded part you want to travel through! However, as the Arctic is an extreme destination, these tours are only suitable for those who already have some experience in winter and wilderness travel.
The Auyuittuq Ski Traverse is a 97-km long journey through millions of years of geological history in the Akshayuk Pass. We’ll make our way through the glorious Arctic mountains, tundra valleys, and meandering ice rivers - creating the otherworldly scenery of Auyuittuq National Park. The expedition begins at North Pangnirtung Fjord, passes through river valleys, lakes, and glaciers and reaches the camping spot at the Summit Lake - the highest point of the pass. Celebrate your stamina at the Overlord shelter, and then take a swift ride to the Inuit hamlet of Pangnirtung!
Auyuittuq National Park in the Canadian Arctic is an explorer’s dream replete with colossal granite mountains, vast frozen valleys, and shimmering glaciers. The Great White North is one of the most secluded and untamed places on earth, offering unpar...)
Auyuittuq National Park in the Canadian Arctic is an explorer’s dream replete with colossal granite mountains, vast frozen valleys, and shimmering glaciers. The Great White North is one of the most secluded and untamed places on earth, offering unparalleled scenery, which the local Inuit communities call home.
On this skiing expedition, we’ll cover the entire Akshayuk Pass (97 km / 60.3 mi), exploring rarely seen corners, such as the northern section in the Owl River Valley. The Akshayuk Pass, an ancient, eroded riverbed home to glacial rivers, is one of the most popular travel routes on Baffin Island. It cuts through the mountains between Cumberland Sound and the Davis Strait.
Our trailhead is Qikiqtarjuaq - an Inuit hamlet off Baffin Island’s northern coast. From there, our Inuit guides will take us on a snowmobile & Qamutik trip (about 80 km, 5 hours) to the end of North Pangnirtung Fjord in Auyuittuq National Park. There we’ll load our pulks (personal sleds), gear up and begin our journey south.
We’ll ascend the Owl River Valley, reaching the heavenly cylindrical Mount Asgard (500 m/1,640 ft) which is at the top of the pass. From the Weasel River Valley, we go all the way down to reach Overlord on Pangnirtung Fjord.
While conquering this erratic route, we’ll pass the massive glaciers of the enormous Penny Ice Cap and the staggering Mount Thor (1500 m) with the longest cliff face in the world! We’ll also pass the Windy Lake, Crater Lake, and even cross the Arctic Circle, so get ready to tick some items off your bucket list!
As we approach our final destination at the majestic Overlord peak, our Inuit guide will take us by snowmobile and Qamutik (wooden sled) on a 30 km trip to his home village of Pangnirtung.
Wandering in the Arctic can be rough, but those who venture here, are rewarded with an incomparable experience and a lifetime of magnificent memories!
Each group member must be physically fit, have previous winter and wilderness travel experience, and be capable of pulling a small gear/supply sled (50-80 lb / 22-36 kg) for two weeks. However, the weight of the sled will be adjusted to reflect each ...)
Each group member must be physically fit, have previous winter and wilderness travel experience, and be capable of pulling a small gear/supply sled (50-80 lb / 22-36 kg) for two weeks. However, the weight of the sled will be adjusted to reflect each skier’s abilities.
Given the time of year, the days are very long, so time will be taken to do some extra exploring not necessarily involving pulling the sleds. A good level of fitness adds to your enjoyment. We recommend that you go on a warm-up trip to work out the kinks in your technique and ensure that your equipment functions well. The guides will always be able to assist you with every task and provide coaching.
We will have an Inuit guide with snowmobile/komatik who will be able to transport some of the heavier items. Much of the trip is in an area of extreme isolation. If you were to get injured or become ill then it might take some time before you can receive any external medical treatment. Anyone with recurring medical issues or chronic injuries should consult their physician before applying for this expedition.
At the campsite everyone pitches in with setting up cooking shelters, tents, preparing meals, telling stories etc. The guides co-ordinate things and are always ready to assist you with any task. They will provide expert coaching and lots of personal attention. Feel free to contact us to discuss your suitability for this trip.
Baffin Island is classified as having a Polar Tundra climate. In the 24 hour darkness of mid-winter, the average day time low is -33°C. By late April there is a lot more light during the day and it becomes slightly warmer. Expect the daytime high t...)
Baffin Island is classified as having a Polar Tundra climate. In the 24 hour darkness of mid-winter, the average day time low is -33°C.
By late April there is a lot more light during the day and it becomes slightly warmer. Expect the daytime high to average around -8°C (18°F) with night time lows of around -16°C (3°F).
The record highs and lows range from +11°C (52°F) to -31°C (-24°F) during the dates of the expedition, also winds can make it feel colder.
The average wind speed is 13 km/h, usually from the NW. The air is quite dry. With the gradual warming in the spring the snowfall increases. The snowiest time of year is during our expedition with an average of 18 cm of new snow for the month.
Expect snowfall on one out of 3 or 4 days. The average accumulated snow depth on the ground is about 60 cm. There is bright sunshine for about half of the daylight hours during this time of year.
All in all, the weather is quite pleasant for skiing - cool enough for staying dry, but not uncomfortably freezing.