Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part I – Baffin Island

Frozen-Feet

Here’s the first miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

Named after the British explorer William Baffin – Baffin Island sits in the province of Nunavut, which has a landmass equivalent to Western Europe, but contains only 27,000 people. It is a true arctic wilderness.

The journey begins in the small Inuit town of Pangnirtung where you cross the frozen Cumberland Sound by skidoo and head deep into the Auyuittuq National Park Reserve, or (the land that never melts).  Skidoo’s are the fastest way into the icecap, but the journey can be crazy, bouncy and hilarious all at the same time.  It’s one of the few journeys which has literally knocked the breath from my lungs..!

Here you take up your pulk and tow it deeper into the range.  Pulk pulling is legendary in polar travel and it takes some time to get a ski/pulk set up right, but once you’re away it’s an excellent form of load hauling.  The weather and ice conditions govern your speed, but after a few days you’ll be in a position for a summit attempt.  Don’t think however that distance is easily won.  Pulk hauling is not for the faint hearted!

The Penny Ice Cap (2200m – 7217ft) is a long and beautiful ski ascent, with views to the legendary Mt.s Thor and Asgard, followed by some of the best polar ski touring I’ve ever know on the journey back.  I ascended quite late in the day and skied home under the setting sun.  The ice fields lit up a rich magenta red that simply cannot be described – they have to be seen.

Some people ski tour Tete Blanche as an alternative to the Penny Ice Cap and there are also untold opportunities for 1st ascents in the range, before you turn your skis around for that all important rendezvous with the skidoo, and home…

Click here to read my full expedition report…

Want to try the challenge yourself..?  Click here to find out more…

Next time i’ll return to the Arctic and climb the tallest peak in Greenland…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *