Baffin Island via Auyuittuq National Park
Hello to all
Looking to put together a small team(s) of adventurers to hike Baffin Island via Auyuittuq National Park.
14-16 days – Targeting end of July early August 2017 for this adventure.
Baffin Island? Yes… the island named after English explorer William Baffin.
Still drawing a blank? The largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world.
Still not dialed in… checkout this link http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=baffin+island&qpvt=baffin+island&qpvt=baffin+island&qpvt=baffin+island&FORM=IGRE
More Info on Baffin Island & via Auyuittuq National Park
This video (cut & past link below) is a good example of the terrain. I can relate as my pack weighed the same approx. 35kg (77lbs) and the rivers in the video were the real deal.
Auyuittuq National Park of Canada – Good resource http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/nu/auyuittuq/natcul/natcul5.aspx
Background – Last August (2016), I planned to hike Auyuittuq National Park (solo) from Pangnirtung (Pang) to Qikiqtarjuaq (Qik), Approximately 97 km (60 mi).
The trip started out well, no delays or lost equipment. Each day’s progress was good. Weather was perfect, blue skies, temperatures near ~ 10°C (50°F). Unfortunately, the downside of having such great weather is that the rivers were running high. Day 3 & 4 this became apparent as I encountered a few rivers that required calm nerves and concentration if things went sideways. As I continued my trek the risks were beginning to exceed my level of comfort and I decided Mount Thor would be my goal for this trip. Hiking to Qik was feasible but not a wise strategy. In retrospect, it was the smart move.
Side Note: Post trip I found out that there were a few hikers weeks earlier stranded for 3 days in a section of trail I travelled. Glad I made the right call.
All said…the trip was fantastic, met a lot of travelers and a few weary hikers, no regrets, would do it again.
The Trip – Due to the nature of this adventure (duration, cost, location, logistics) I’m posting this event far in advance to give interested participants time to check their finances, schedules (work & life) and to plan/prepare. Targeting end of July early August for this adventure. Time required 14-16 days.
This trip is open to all with a few caveats.
Experienced backpackers – Looking for folks that have backpacked off the beaten trail for extended durations (minimum 5 + day).
Keep in mind… This trek is in a remote area (no cell service, evac could be 2-3 days). You need to be physically fit, and comfortable crossing river solo or with a fellow hiker. The physical aspect of this trip is more about hiking with a heavy pack for multiple days over all types of surfaces (tundra/permafrost, mud, rocks, and moraine) and through rivers.
Once I get feel for the size of the group I will setup a quick skype meeting or a face2face meet & greet. TBD.
All participants must meet at least once and hike together as much as possible. I’ve done this with other groups and it works well.
What to expect
Danger – Yes, there are polar bears in the region, but they are far out on the ice sheets, nowhere close to where we will hike. The biggest danger is crossing rivers. The rivers can be intense. If the rivers are running high we will need to cross at the lowest point of day which is generally around 3-4 AM. Crossing moraine can also be tricky since they are sediment carried down and deposited by glaciers, specifically the ridges at the edges.
Weather – dictates everything. I lucked out, however plan on flight delays, you can easy be delayed in or outbound. Additionally, there will be times on the trail where we will need to hunker-down to let a system pass through. Temperature vary from low 30’s to high 40’s, keep in mind, days are long, during my trip in Aug. length of day was approximately 19-18 hours which can disrupt your sleeping habit. Windy? Yes. There are sections of park that can be very windy, the upside no mosquitoes.
The Trail – As mentioned above… This trek is in a remote area (no cell service, evac could be 2-3 days). Also, the trail(s) are not visible at times, finding the next marker (cairn) can be challenging as I found out. If you decide to take part in this adventure, PLEASE purchase travel insurance, in other words “Don’t’ leave home without it.”
Climbing – Requires lots of planning + permits. Hiking in with the required gear is strenuous, if there are interested parties we can discuss as team develops. FYI… not planning to climb but open to the topic.
Logistics – Not cheap. Flight from Seattle to Pangnirtung (Seattle->Ottawa->Iqaluit->Pang) $3k Roundtrip. Boat ride to park entrance ~$100 – $150 one-way.
There is also a lodge in town not cheap either, can’t remember exact cost, somewhere around $200-$275 a night, need to double check. There is also a free campsite just outside of town (20-30 min walk from the airport).
If interested, please reach out to me via the site. I will setup a quick skype meeting or a face2face meet & greet as needed.
Pictures of my trip. Enjoy.