Season end at Iqalugaarjuk

On May 10th we headed out to Iqalugaarjuk, a small lake absolutely packed full of arctic char. They outing was organized as Delia's workplace's "IQ" day (Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, Inuit traditional knowledge). Government employees in the north are are entitled to an IQ day a few times a year, during work time. Usually these days are spent fishing, collecting berries, or something of that nature.

The drive distance was about 100 km which took about maybe 2.5 hours to travel one way. Spring was well on its way but the driving conditions were superb after the first hill climb out of town on rocks and moss on which the machines got a bit of a beating.

This was our first chance to visit Iqalugaarjuk. What had kept us from seeing before was the relatively challenging sea ice trail to the location: the last fiord has a polynya that can crack open pretty suddenly. Also, the whole area can have thin ice and with some snow it might be easy to get into a bad situation. There is a way around the bad spot but it involves driving up and down vertical cliffs - we are talking "haul your machine up or down with a mechanical pulley or with many strong people" type of a situation. But luckily our IQ day solved this problem since we were going with people who were familiar with the place.

Fishing was amazing. Right in the first few minutes, I pulled up my first five-pounder. More came quite quickly. Andrew from our group was pulling fish after fish from a single hole, soon surrounded by15-20 fish flopping on the ice around him. As a beneficiary he had no catch limit, but us qallunaks can only take four fish home with our fishing license. After my third one I went and drank several cups of tea, took some photos, and tried to burn time so that I could stretch it out a little bit before I got my last one.

A good ending to a great season. That was our last trip of spring 2016. Epic is the word.


Backyard scenic tour.

Enjoying the mountains in early February.

Negotiating a tricky spot.

As far as we could go.

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