Canine Sledding in Nunavut

Canada is a Northern nation.  Many might not notice this since most of us dwell alongside the Southern fringe of the nation, however the geographical middle of Canada is close to Baker Lake, roughly two hours West of Iqaluit.  There’s an entire lot of Arctic in Canada throughout the winter.

My responsible secret is that regardless of spending loads of time within the Arctic in different nations, I’d by no means been to the Northern a part of Canada.  I can level to some causes for this, primarily that it’s costly to journey up North in Canada, and getting round is troublesome, however many of the blame falls squarely on me.  In April a possibility to lastly go and do some work for Vacation spot Nunavut introduced itself, and I leapt for it. We had plenty of locations on the checklist, however as is true for many expeditions to chilly climates, one should handle expectations.  Because it turned out, a deliberate go to to Auyuittuq Nationwide Park needed to be cancelled as a result of Parks Canada closed the park resulting from a scarcity of snow.  This was unlucky, nevertheless it simply meant that different issues have been going to occur as an alternative.

By far, the factor I used to be most trying ahead to was getting again out on a canine sled. After canine sledding in Norway, I’ve been lacking it each winter since.  Canine sledding in Nunavut is completely different, although.  First, the canines are completely different.  The canines we have been utilizing have been Canadian Inuit Canine, or Qimmiq canines, and have been bigger and had thicker fur than the Alaskan husky canines in Norway.  Truthfully, I felt extra at house with the Qimmiq canines as a result of I had Malamutes at house once I was rising up.

The canines have been harnessed in another way, too, with a fan system used as an alternative of a central tandem line. The tandem line might be higher for ensuring that every canine pulls, and might be higher for navigating by means of forests or round different tall obstacles, however the fan system permits canines to maneuver round smaller obstacles or encircle prey when being utilized by groups on the hunt. The sleds are completely different, too.  The Inuit use sleds referred to as Qamutiik, a boxy picket sled with runners designed to be pulled effectively behind a canine crew or snow machine.  The sleds we had in Norway appeared extra just like the sleds you see getting used throughout canine sled races.

Whatever the variations, the expertise was nonetheless wonderful.  The expectation, the barking and howling, the canines get excited and able to go, after which the preliminary burst of pace, after which … silence, because the crew settles right into a rhythm, shifting over the frozen panorama. The panorama is stark however stunning because the solar pokes by means of the clouds and creates a fleeting mild present on the distant mountains surrounding Frobisher Bay.

Regardless of not entering into Auyuittuq Nationwide Park, I nonetheless managed to stand up to Pangnirtung, which is the neighborhood appearing as a gateway to the southern a part of the park.  From the neighborhood, the fjord entrance to the park is seen, though Mount Thor and Mount Asgard stay hidden from view.  Subsequent time!  I’m already tentatively placing collectively a plan to return and revisit the realm.  There is a chance to go North first, by way of boat, after which hike down throughout the park to the south entrance.  Doing this in the summertime months would offer a unbelievable distinction to the icy panorama at present there.  I’d like to see all the small flowers in bloom, and perhaps additionally lastly see an arctic fox or two of their native habitat.

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