Auyuittuq National Park Part 2, Canada, 2011

We entered the Auyuittuq National Park from the north (Qikitarjuaq) and were turned back by high waters (see part 1 of this blog). Now the Black Feather group entered from the southern town of Pangnirtang. Hopefully we would get to see some more of the park, maybe even Mt. Thor – the highest vertical cliff face in the world.

Back in Qikitarjuaq – a place we had not expected to return to in a while. And we were there with little to do. Our flight was the following evening. Hanging out at Billy’s parent’s place, we saw how the freshly caught arctic char is prepared.

Arctic char preparation

Arctic char preparation

We strolled around the garbage dump surroundings of Qikitarjuaq, passing the husky dogs that were tied up howling.  We had a cup of coffee at a hotel that I didn’t realise existed last time we were here. We wandered through the Northern supermarket. A slow day.

It turned out that we caught the last flight out of Qikitarjuaq for days. The airport was closed due to fog. We were very lucky. We arrived at Pangnirtung: the town at the south of the park, in the rain.

Our newly organised boat trip to the southern entrance to the park was meant to leave at 13:00 – low tide. 13:00 gradually dragged on to be 17:00 (northern time). Lots of reading was done before the beautiful trip into the park.

The group heading down to the boat in Pangnirtung

The group heading down to the boat in Pangnirtung

On the boat to the park

On the boat to the park

The southern part of the park is even more beautiful than the northern part. This time we followed the Weasel River up the valley. Our goal was to reach the ‘Rock Garden’ – a jungle of huge boulders that are strewn over a flat area under the high rising cliff faces. From the Rock Garden you have an amazing view out over Mt. Thor – one of the reasons I wanted to come to the park. Again our trip was alternating hope and frustration as we thought yes – no – yes – no – yes: we can cross the glacial streams. Again, we camped out next to a fast flowing glacial stream. Again we had 3 attempts to cross it. Time was now really running out to cross. Our days were numbered.

Mike attempts to cross the glacial stream

Mike attempts to cross the glacial stream

Mike attempts to cross the glacial stream

Mike attempts to cross the glacial stream

But, in the days we had in this area before crossing the glacial stream, we explored some amazing side valleys, and clambered up the ever steeper sides of the valley. Walking up the sides, the way gets steeper and steeper, until, at a certain point, you realise that you are leaning against the mountain and looking directly down past your feet to the valley below.

Looking down

Looking down

We made it across the glacial stream and finally passed into new territory, seeing different views. We crossed the polar circle, made it to the beautiful rock garden, and caught glimpses of Mt. Thor. Auyuittuq National Park is a beautiful place.

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Comments
  1. […] – Paris, 1995Biking 2012HikingAuyuittuq National Park Part 1, Canada, 2011Auyuittuq National Park Part 2, Canada, 2011Hornstrandir, Iceland, 2009Hiking 2012 ← Blast from the past: Auyuittuq […]

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