Winter exploits

Hunting for ski slopes up Kuulik and on a slope to its right, Mike and I found a good way up, pretty smooth and gradual. This is a good way to attack a nearby mountain which I have previously named Mt. Baffinin Lisä.

Mike doesn't ski but he's still pretty ok as company.

Isn't he pretty?

We also shot some sun rays darting through pack ice.

Another weekend, we headed to Kingnait Fiord for a little skidoo ride. It's about 25 kilometers south of Pang, or around there, depending on who you ask. If you asked Mike, he would probably say it's 50 miles north-east. The day was cold (around -29 C) and clear but close to Kingnait Fiord it turned windy. We both were wearing just thin gloves (because we don't use our brains) and froze our fingers on the way back. Luckily there are ten of them, and I can still type with the one finger that didn't have to be amputated.

The following is a typical "Markus style" shot with a blurry object in the foreground. The cool mountain in the back is called Angiuqqaaq, or Boss Mountain.

The wind had shaped the snow and made it extremely hard. Rough on the skidoos, but pretty.

Mike staring into Kingnait Fiord, scanning for ptarmigan and rabbits. We couldn'd find any but that hardly disappointed us.

These slopes are from Mt. Duval. A few weekends ago I skied up it with Sola and Pepi, my dog companions. Pepi is not ours but would not miss a trip even for a bone. Delia was out of town.

Sola.

Sola and Pepi, i.e. the pack. Pepi is a hard core little dog that will run after the skidoo almost as well as Sola, then run up and down a mountain following us on our skis, then run home after us (or catch a ride in our qamotiq). A complete freerider dog.

Some weeks ago we did northern light shooting. We have been trying to get out of town when they are out in order to get better shots. The city lights are unpleasant in the photos. Going away helps a lot.

Another one.

Another one.

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Sunday Skijor

Just a short posting for me to get back into the swing of making posts; I make them so rarely.  What a beautiful day to take the dogs out for some skijoring on the fjord!  We borrowed our friend Donald's dog, Akulik, to join Sola.  Of course Pepi came along for the romp.  Out to the sun and back again, what a lovely run.

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Naujaat beats the odds, partially

My first telemark ski trip has almost every year been on Naujaat, a mountain that is directly across from Pangnirtung. Naujaat means seagulls in Inuktitut. A moderately smart person would at this point assume that it may be because there are seagulls around there. The moderately smart person would be correct.

The peak named after seagulls has never offered good skiing except for the not-too-steep slopes that it offers for an easy first run. It's a rocky face that is usually quite wind-swept. Whatever snow accumulates there is usually brushed off by constant winds, leaving rocks exposed.

My typical memories from Naujaat include hard face plants on crusty snow with soft or hollow snow underneath. It's got, to be honest, shitty snow plus rocks. Not the greatest of combination but better than staying home and watching TV. Skis regularly break through the inch thick crust and dive under, resulting in a harsh and unpleasant stop on the face. You have to break the snow from over the skis to get them back out again.

Well, not last weekend. At least as far as snow was concerned. While there may not have been that much snow, it was mostly powder. Last weekend we did two runs on Naujaat and both times had big smiles on our faces at the bottom. Excellent conditions despite the rather hard temperatures around -30 C!

The cold temperatures, and the lack of winds recently, may be why the snow was still loose and unconsolidated. We only had contend with the sneaky rocks covered in seagull crap that bang hard and suddenly onto your skis, carving out foot-long deep grooves and dull the egdes. And throw you on your face. That part of the classic Naujaat experience didn't fail.

Come, climate change, come. We could use a few meters of powder.

Photos feat. Kendra and Devin on the Sunday run.

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