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I nonetheless have sufficient time in Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital, to recoup for my earlier failure to search out Sylvia Grinnell territorial park. I find an workplace in a shack and enquire. “First right, first left, you cannot miss it,” I’m instructed.

I’m quite insulted. How dare he question my potential to get misplaced “You would be surprised what I can do,” quoths I to the good-arse, leaving the workplace in excessive dudgeon — and promptly getting misplaced.

Sylvia Grinnell territorial park
After some to-ing and fro-ing, I turn down a facet street, previous a seven-foot high snow bank, behind which, actually hidden, is a picket board: Sylvia Grinnell park.

Traipsing up a perilously slippery snow and ice incline, with many an in depth shave with Mom Earth, I find myself on a ridge with frozen benches and icicled picnic tables, and a splendid panorama of white plains, frozen rivers and hoary hills unfurling before me. I wish to make a couple of notes, but now the pen has gone and frozen up, too

View over Iqaluit from the park
The 40-minute turbo-prop flight from Iqaluit to Pangnirtung takes you over a snowy, icy wasteland, the plain progressively fracturing into mountains and fjords — but not earlier than a soiled great creature approaches whereas you’re still on the bottom with an enormous neck swivelling this manner and that, now up, now down, hovering menacingly over the wings.

It appears similar to one of those Martian war machines in stone island factory shop Struggle of the Worlds.
Baffin Island map with Pangnirtung above latitude sixty five – Wikipedia

It is a cellular de-icing contraption, with a protracted cherry-picker arm ending in a glass enclosed cabin with a gentleman directing a spurting nozzle of liquid at us.

Shore of frozen Frobisher Bay at Iqaluit
Pangnirtung spreads out on the mouth of a fjord just a couple of dozen miles south of the place the Arctic Circle cuts across Baffin Island — that is if a bit of hamlet with 1,500 inhabitants might be stated to spread.

Pangnirtung’s frozen fjord
The identify comes from the Inuktikut word Panniqtuuq which means “place of many bull caribou,” and it is the gateway to the magnificent mountainous Auyuittuq Nationwide Park — Auyuittuq meaning the Land that By no means melts.

Wanting in the direction of Auyuittuq National Park
Now you possibly can hike north by means of the park, throughout the Arctic Circle to Qikiqtarjuaq, the other gateway — if in case you have seven days to spare and enough bats in your belfry.

An English guy from Cheltenham has simply accomplished that in reverse with a good friend, partly with spiked boots, partly with skis. There are sleep-over huts along the way in which. At the Owl River they were awakened by a loud banging at the door. It was a dirty great polar bear making an attempt to get in. Now, you don’t say “come in” to a polar bear knocking at your door — they will weigh a ton and are very aggressive.

Hudson Bay Company’s former whale blubber station
Close-up view

This one eventually left Mr. Cheltenham in peace, however he’s into severe adventures. Last year he was in Resolute Bay making ready for the start of what was meant to be a 5-week walk across the ice to the North Pole, however it fell via (not actually).

Yours really, of course, will likely be overlaying the Pangnirtung-Qikiqtarjuaq leg in 40 minutes in a nice little ATR forty two turbo-prop.

Pangnirtung avenue
It feels positively balmy right here — it is additional north than Iqaluit but there appears to be very little wind chill. It’s about 10 Fahrenheit (-12 centigrade). I can go around without a neck hotter or balaclava. The fjord is surrounded by mountains, which must keep the wind off — my pen is barely half frozen.

For $225 the hotel is a joke — a tiny field room with no shower/wc, not even a wash basin to pee in at night.

One other street
For the Inuit, Nanook is the great Polar Bear within the Sky, and a film at Auyuittuq park headquarters right here tells you all you must know should you run into one. If he/she approaches, stand your ground, shout, wave your arms, and let him/her know that you’re human, since people evidently are usually not on his/her most well-liked menu.

Human Howdy Nanook, I’m human and you’re not, so go stuff yourself! Hm, I do not assume so.
Junked autos close to town

You could have to determine the nature of the bear’s method, the movie suggests. Is it simply curious Does it assume you’re food Or does it really feel threatened.

If it’s curious, just stand nonetheless until it’s happy its curiosity. If it thinks you are food, do not run, battle on your life, arm yourself with stones if you do not have a gun and attempt to hit it on the nostril. You probably have a gun, shoot to kill. If it feels threatened and becomes aggressive, repeat as above.

Ice blocks in fjord
Time for a pleasant afternoon stroll into the snow valley between the granite walls by the aspect of the frozen fjord. Who was that barmy idiot who mentioned it feels positively balmy Sure, there is a wind chill factor; it’s -three F (about -20 C). Thankfully, I’ve stuffed the neck wrap and balaclava in a pocket.

Walk along fjord
Lagged like a winter water pipe in opposition to a burst, I continue on into the valley. It’s actually splendid in the frozen golden sunlight. The icy fjord glints, the snow-coated crags, cliffs and jagged peaks radiate a faux fireplace-glow warmth in the lengthening orange rays, and my eye lashes have now frozen over with glinting icicles.

After an hour outward certain I turn spherical. Back within the resort’s warmth my eyelashes finally defrost and the icicles melt.

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