18 Aug, 2007 BACK OUT
Woke up to a spectacular view of Coronation Glacier from the tent, with the sun kissing it here and there as it stretched across the entire width of the fiord.
It’s an impressive and incredible formation that I saw a little of through the rain and fog that we drove through on the way into the fiord the night before. Even with the sun, the fog hid the mountains all around so that the place in effect remained a mystery, other than the leading edge of the glacier that rose out of the ocean dramatically. This is a different looking side of Auyuittuq National Park and Coronation Fiord is likely not visited all that much. The main entrance to the park for hikers wanting to hike the pass through to Pang lies at the end of the next fiord over, aptly named North Pang Fiord. Those doing the big hike get dropped off by boat from Qikitarjuaq. With the hiking portion of my trip now behind me, I was now able to investigate other places, and when Billy described this to me, it was settled. I owe Billy big on this one because even with all the research I did, I missed this place, not realizing that there was a huge glacier that we could boat right up to.
The campsite that we had was perfect and offered a fantastic view of the glacier. But it wasn’t exactly planned that way. As we headed in the evening before, we were cruising down the right side of the fiord trying to spot a likely location. Instead, we spot a moving white mound. There is not supposed to be snow there, and even if there was, it doesn’t move. My second polar bear. Billy’s dog Jabez perked his ears and twitched his nose, and started to growl a little from the front of the boat as we decide that maybe we should move on the other side of the fiord. That’s when we came to this beautiful span of beach sand extending out like a half circle from the side of the mountains. Nothing else like it anywhere, and over 3 kms away from our furry white friend on the other side. Billy knew of this place of course as he has been hunting and fishing in the entire region for all his life. But he had never looked at it closely as a camping spot before.
As we kept an eye on the bear in the distance, who as it turns out wasn’t interested in moving at all for the entire day, we explored the glacier by boat, revealing an incredible array of colour and form, found huge ice arch on the right side that I ended up painting from the boat. On occasion, we were also treated to glimpses of the mountains in the background whenever the ever-changing fog would offer a peek, but saw the big view around us. That remained a mystery.