Carl and I make it to Iqaluit!
Touring the airport in Iqaluit. Canadian North's new hanger in the background.
Neat ice formations as we fly over Foxe Basin on the west side of Baffin Island.
The sun peaks through the window as I peered into the clouds.
A stop over in Hall Beach for fuel as we headed up to Resolute Bay. Strange looking structures right out of some old science fiction movie.
Old military buildings in Resolute Bay.
Old fuel tanks in Resolute Bay that have seen better times.
Hiking down the road in Resolute Bay and getting some footage along the way.
Through support from Quttinirpaaq National Park for my project, Carl and I got to stay in these fine Polar Continental Shelf Project accommodations in Resolute Bay as we passed through.
Carl and I taking a break.
The icy waters just outside the community of Resolute Bay.
Part polar bear? Not sure, but he was cute.
Trusty twin otter preparing for take off in Resolute Bay.
Up and on our way to the High Arctic with all our stuff as the planes shrink!
The sun catches the distant polar ice cap. What a huge landscape.
As we flew further north, the relatively flat landscape around Resolute Bay gave way to mountains and fiords.
A river catches the sun as it snakes its way down below.
Carl caught this great design as the land folds upon itself.
An iceberg caught in the ice finds a possible escape route.
On the approach to Lake Hazen, the pilot flew fantastically low so I could film the Henrietta Nesmith Glacier out his co-pilot's window. In the meantime, Carl was taking nice still photos like this one.
Another aerial view of just a tiny corner of the massive Henrietta Nesmith Glacier.
Our first campsite on Lake Hazen that offered a great view back at Johns Island.
The huge scree wall backdrop to our campsite. And oh yeah, time to do dishes.
Trying to stretch out our break so we wouldn't have to pick up our overloaded packs again.
Our packs await us. HD video camera bags strapped around our necks and hanging uncomfortably only added to the already painful burden we were bearing. Each totalled well over 100lbs.
Wolf track embedded into the hardened mud. As can be seen by the size 8 boots next to them, they are a good size!
Walking in the way of the wolf.
Catching a glimpse of Henrietta Nesmith Glacier as we slogged our way along. We weren't going to stop until we could see more of her. The base of the glacier is about 20kms from the Parks Canada camp to the east.
Caught taking a short break.
A small herd of arctic hares involved in a pass-by hopping.
Light bounces off the HN Glacier during some bad weather.
Carl holding up well despite the nasty bout of arctic wind, snow and rain.
The sun pokes out at last!
Out to explore and paint the glacier. Well a small piece of it anyway.
Water cascades off the glacier's edge through the sunlight. One of many little waterfalls that grew when the sun came out stronger.
Distant mountains create a great backdrop to the undulating glacial curves.
Streams running atop the glacier fall into a bigger river below.
Carl examines the layers of the glacier.
A precariously lodged large boulder awaits a couple more sunny days.
Walking up the side of the glacier creates a new view every time you look up.
The river that flows down the side of the Henrietta and into Lake Hazen.
Catching a bit of sun on a comfortable rock.
Melting water runoff frozen by the camera.
Carl filming the glacier.
Getting a painting underway, this time not too far from camp.
A snow bunting hops along the ground nearby.
If you look closely at the camera screen, you will see the muskox that I was filming.
The incredibly durable, and shaggy, muskox.
Seeing camp from this vantage point explains why we were so exposed to the elements.
Another Ruddy Turnstone lifts off.
On one of our many hikes we woke this Arctic Hare from its snooze behind a rock. He nonchalantly got up, stretched, and slowly moved on.
An Arctic Hare peeks at me over the rock.
A very camera friendly Arctic Hare. I eventually approached to within 12 feet of him while he casually kept an eye on me between naps.
A ruddy turnstone takes off. We were accompanied by these pretty birds everywhere we hiked.
Hiking up towards Weasel Lake from HN Glacier. It was a much steeper climb than it looks!
Although we never did make it to Weasel Lake as the weather turned very sour, we did get a great bird's eye view of HN Glacier so I took to the opportunity to get some footage.
A perfect little Spider Plant growing in a hostile high arctic environment.
More life at the ground level; draba corymbosa adding colour the landscape.
Great light catches the top of the glacier for just a mere moment before it all went grey again.
My Sildome shelter, which I brought up to paint under in rain, wound up being our kitchen for our trip at the glacier. With sand blowing everywhere, and cold weather, it made a great place for Carl and I to climb into every day.
One last look at the huge delta below HN Glacier before moving on.
An arctic wolf silently appears by for a visit at our tent.
More colourful flora...
An Ivory Gull was investigating Carl out closely. Finally he decided to take the camera out.
Carl caught the sunlight beautifully backlighting the Ivory Gull in flight.
The candle ice begins to melt along the shores of Lake Hazen. It makes a beautiful tinkling sound as it breaks off in crystal-like pieces.
Candle ice on Lake Hazen.
Coelocaulon Divergens, or little white-and-yellow flowers as I would call them, reaching for the sun.
Carl setting up a shot.
The next several photos are of an Arctic Wolf that dropped by for a visit during the middle of the day while we were hiking along Lake Hazen...
Pose for the camera.
Going for a drink?
Hard to stop taking pictures of such a beautiful animal.
Even Arctic Wolves have to deal with mosquitoes.
A arctic portrait.
Now with mountain background.
I just love this pose.
Monty Yank, Acting Park Superintendent of Quttinirpaaq Natyional Park, and Patrolperson Kevin Kilukishak, caught up with us on our hike back from the Henrietta Nesmith Glacier. With 10 kms to go, they lightened our load a little and gave us a welcome hand with some of our filming gear. Little did we know that they were going to take a direct route back across the ice, saving them a lot of mileage and the lousy footing that Carl and I had on shore. Thank you for saving our knees and feet further wear and tear!
A baby Ruddy Turnstone crouches behind a rock thinking he is hidden from me. They're adorable.
The light catches the side of Blister Hill, on Lake Hazen.
A Melandriaum Triflorum growing out of the sand. Such beauty in a polar dessert.
Gull Glacier, also known as the Hand of God Glacier, greets Carl and I in Tanquary Fiord, about 100 kms south of Lake Hazen.
The unlucky rabbit's foot. Or should I say Arctic Hare?
Looking north at Tanquary Fiord. Ad Astra Glacier on the right mountain.
As close to a sunset as you'll find at this time of year in the High Arctic.
The Parks Canada emergency shelter that we stayed in to organize our outings, and leave extra gear in when on the land.
After coming in from a hiking trip, it was nice to get a break from the tent for a night or two and sleep in the emergency shelter while preparing for the next outing.
A close-up from a small channel of the Redrock River shows why it's called the Redrock.
Fixing up a sore toe with moleskin before moving on.
Camping by the partially frozen Omega Lake offered us a beautiful view and a nice evening reflection.
Though the arctic waters are often incredibly clear and clean, I just don't want to be the unlucky one in-a-million on a long extended trek to get some little friends on board. I have enough challenges without adding a virus to them.
Looking back at camp from the other side of Omega Lake with Redrock Glacier behind it.
The small stream that exits the far side of the Omega Lake before it cascades down the side of the mountain.
How about that, a Rock Ptarmigan sitting on a... rock.
The sun catching the ocean over Tanquary Fiord. Look closely on the bottom left and you can just make out the buidlings of the Parks Canada camp.
A view that goes for on for miles and miles. Tanquary Fiord.
Carl hard at work. Don't let the relaxed looking hand in the pocket fool you.
Working on a study of the big scene overlooking Tanquary Fiord for a large piece back home.
What you can't see in the photo is how hard the wind was blowing and how chilly it was too.
Life and death in the High Arctic. Muskox skull.
Carl's size 8 boot for scale.
Carl nearing the end of a steep hike out of a valley on our way back from Omega Lake. Viking Ice Cap in the distance.
A detail from some of the amazing textures and patterns flowing from the Redrock River.
A Long-Tailed Jaeger posing for a shot.
A Long-Tailed Jaeger checking me out.
An unexpected camp. We arrived back at the Macdonald River only to find that the non-stop sun and 20 degree weather for 2 days had made it impassible. We pitched our tent and waited to see if it would drop enough by the wee hours of the morning to make it by. Fortunately it did, but not by much. It still took an hour for Carl and I to cross it. Ad Adstra in the background.
Distant icy peaks that I will never reach. After traveling up here for a while, I began to realize just what a tiny bit of the massive land I will ever to get set foot on. But even that small amount is overwhelming.
A Twin Otter waiting to head further north after refuelling from the barrels.
From the air, I just gazed out and soaked up the endless peaks and glaciers.
Coming it for a landing at Fort Conger. Pilot's hand at the controls as he dropped really low for the very short and bumpy airstrip.
A gorgeous Red-Throated Loon cruised by as I was painting. Had to put the brush down for a few minutes.
Ice chunk catches the light at Fort Conger.
The Parks Canada historic site at Fort Conger. Preserved here is an incredible history of arctic research and exploration. The three wooden buidlings date back to the 1890's when Peary rebuilt from Greely's earlier efforts.
The buidings overlook Discovery Harbour.
A number of lifes were lost due to the challenges brought on by a very extreme environment and a lack of preparation for it.
Old tin artifacts have become part of the landscape.
Carl filming the site while I sketched. We only had a couple of hours to explore the place quickly as the plane was coming in to pick up others. And that included a 15 minute hike each way from the plane. But it was worth every minute!
Remnants of the past. Empty tin cans that no doubt once had a limited amount of food in them.
An old bed frame framing the buildings.
Beautiful ice floating by in the clear waters.
A bird's eye view of the Fort Conger site.
Detail of a glacier. Looks like a big tongue!
Nothing quite like flying by these remote glaciers at eye level.
Carl's photo of a little dragon ice sculpture at the Tanquary Fiord bay.
An old j5 Bombardier from the 1950s still in operation at the park camp. Tanquary Fiord.
Mamma duck sitting on her eggs.
A few new friends who were doing work at Tanquary Fiord getting ready to fly out. Left to right: Miguel ,Emily, Lyn and Sandy. They were there for a couple of weeks restoring and documenting military artifacts that Parks Canada inherited when they took over operation of the camp in the 1980's.
We have lift off!
A Ruddy Turnstone looking for a snack.
A Sanderling pauses during his dinner. He was running around catching bugs when I snapped this photo.
Little plane, big mountains.
Mount Tammia as seen from Kettle Lake. Tanquary Fiord.
Cleaves Glacier from the Macdonald River valley.
Dinner with a view. Cleaves Glacier in the background.
Arctic Cotton blowing in the wind.
Neat depressions that surrounded us around camp.
A perfect rock. It broke the wind for us, and gave us a place to sit. It became known, to Carl and I anyway, as the "Leaning Rock".
How to use the "Leaning Rock". First step: sit down. Second step: lean. No instructions were provided, so we had to figure this out on our own.
We stumbled upon the reason for the collapsing ground around us: a foot below the surface were thick layers of ice that were melting here and there. Cool!
Surrounded by our own private moat of fresh water.
This Muskox seemed to own the valley. After he snorted at me a couple of times, I figured he could have it and moved on.
A dense mass of colourful Dwarf Fireweed.
A pocket of delicate looking Prickly Saxifrage.
A mass of mountain upstream of our camp at the Macdonald River.
Carl looked this up in a plant book at camp and it said this was a kind of Arctic Willow. I'll go with that.
An old artcic willow clings to the ground and somehow continues to survive in the harsh land.
Arctic Willow overlooking the Macdonald River valley.
That spot of yellow down there is our tent.
Polygons that we hiked through became really clear from a nearby ridge that we climbed.
Carl explores a nice waterfall on our hike back.
Light catches the Macdonald River valley. Stitched together from over 15 photos.