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Author Topic: Anyone been to Greenland or Baffin Island?  (Read 5878 times)
manrico Scremin
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« on: February 15, 2005, 10:03:23 PM »
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I have done two hiking trips on Baffin Island.  First one out of Pangnuirtung and the second out of Pond Inlet.

For someone with moderate overnight hiking experience I would recommend Auyuittuq National Park near Pangnuirtung:

http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nu/auyuittuq/index_e.asp
http://www.canadianparks.com/nunavut/auyutnp/index.htm

There is an actual trail with emergency shelters spaced about half day apart.  You can do a very nice 5-10 day hike from the head of the Pagnuirtung Fiord to the far end of Summit Lake and back.  The scenery is, well simply spectacular.  Well worth the visit.

It is obviously very remote.  However since it is a National Park with a trail you will definitely see other people along the way but certainly no crowds!
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2005, 12:29:20 PM »
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Angmassalik in East Greenland is very nice, and a good base for summer hiking. It is fairly easily accessed via Kulusuk airstrip.  In summer, watch out for midges - they are awful...   Also, travel light. Even easy hiking in Greenland tends to be fairly hard work.  And you'd be best advised to shoot film. With a manual camera. Power outlets are not so common :-)
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Peter Simmons
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2005, 12:13:59 AM »
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I hiked in Auyuittuq 16 years ago. August is the time to go. I agree with what was written above. The valley is stunning. 4000 foot rock faces, glacial moraines etc. We had about 15 hours of daylight and lost about an hour in the 10 days I was there. The arctic flowers were out in bloom in the return trip to Pangnirtung.
You should consider a tour, is it was difficult to arrange cheap boat transportation to Overlord at the head of the fiord, and even more so to guarantee them to pick you up. The wind is definitely a factor, and there are no trees , so a sturdy four season tent is a must. If the tent blows away the only shelters are the very small radio huts every 10 miles or so.
I actually saw more people there than on some of the hikes I have done in BC a few hours from Vancouver, so if you are trying to escape people you can probably do better in the central coast or Southern Tweedsmuir/Chilcotin area of BC for a lot less money. But I digress. The arctic scenery is stunning and definitely worth a visit.
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manrico Scremin
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2005, 12:02:07 AM »
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I think the scenery will vary depending on which Baffin Island coast the cruise follows Lisa. I believe the east coast will be much more spectacular than the west coast. The fiords just north of Clyde River, now called Kangitugaapik, are a world class area for big wall rock-climbing. That's the sort of scenery you would see in Auyuittuq.  I'm sure those would be quite a sight from a cruise ship. (I have not been there.)

I think the west coast will be flatter and less interesting in terms of landscapes but there will be more communities. (Pangnuirtung is the exception. It's an interesting community in a spectactular setting on the west coast.)

I have been to Pond Inlet on the north coast. That is a very scenic community.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2005, 11:14:36 AM »
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Cool-looking mountains, Peter!  Are Mt. Asgard, Mt. Thor, etc. accessible only by multi-day backpacking, or could similar places be reached by a day trip from Pangnirtung?

Lisa
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Peter Simmons
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2005, 10:16:26 PM »
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Lisa,
If I remember correctly, Mt. Asgard and Mt. Thor are about 20 to 25 km hike from Overlord camp at the end of the fiord. Overlord is  about 20km from Pangnirtung. Day trips may be possible right now, in the winter, by snowmobile. But in the summer it would be best to plan to get there in two days.

Manrico, Ellesmere is on my list, but is signficantly more expensive! I plan to go when the mortgage is paid off!!
Peter
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manrico Scremin
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2005, 08:01:25 PM »
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Sadly yes, it is expensive Peter.  In 1996 it was about $1,800 per person to charter a twin otter from Resolute to Lake Hazen / Tanquary Fiord (back and forth twice).  This assumes you fill the plane up with 11 people.  The cost is now about $2,200 or so depending on where you are going.  Guided trips in the area are about $5,000 from Resolute.

It's about $1,000 less per person to go to Svedrup Pass area in the middle of the island.  (Similar cost for Axel Heiberg Island.)  You can get to Grise Fiord at the south end of Ellesmere on a commercial flight for less again.

Then you have to get to Resolute which is not exactly cheap.  In 1996 we got 10 people there on Canadian Airiline points all within a few days of each other.  That's impossible now.  

We tried to put together another trip to a different part of Northern Ellesmere last summer but it was just too expensive.  We'll try again for 2006.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2005, 12:35:42 PM »
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I'm considering a summer trip to Greenland and/or Baffin Island, but it's tough to find much info on how best to get around the "good parts" of them.  (Consider that I'm somewhat outdoorsy but not seriously outdoorsy, i.e. I'm pretty experienced at hiking but not at wilderness camping.)  Has anyone here been to either?

Lisa
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2005, 10:25:18 AM »
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Thanks for the suggestion.  I'll look into it.

How was the weather when you were there?  Is it the sort of place that gets only about one clear day a month, or would a week there likely produce a mix of weather, some good?

Lisa
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manrico Scremin
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2005, 08:16:47 PM »
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Our Auyuittuq trip was early-mid August. The weather was generally good although we had some cloudy days. We did see all of the peaks consistently almost every day. The clearest weather is apparently April-May but it would be very cold then.

Fall comes early so by the end of the trip we were starting to get some cold days. Otherwise it's 10-15 degrees C (50-60F).

The one thing to note is the main valley: the Weasel River, can be very windy. You should have a sturdy tent.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2005, 10:58:21 AM »
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Thanks for all your suggestions.  I'm currently considering two options, the first being backpacking in Auyuittuq park, the second being a cruise on a converted icebreaker that spends about a week cruising the Baffin Island coast.  The second option would be more comfortable, but many more $$$$.  Any idea whether the best scenery is all inland, and would be missed by a cruise (with some shore excursions), or are there plenty of gorgeous mountains on the coast???

Or the third option, which is to wait on that and just go back to Switzerland this year.  All good...

Lisa
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2005, 10:23:56 AM »
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Quote
I believe the east coast will be much more spectacular than the west coast.
Quote

The east coast is indeed the one it follows.  This is sounding better and better...  Thanks, manrico.

Lisa
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Peter Simmons
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2005, 10:52:23 PM »
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I have posted some of my pictures from the trip that  I did. You can see these at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/petergs/sets/127424/
Peter
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manrico Scremin
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2005, 07:17:27 PM »
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Nice shots Peter.  Makes me want to go back!  We're actually planning a trip for 2006, either a ski trip on Bylot Island or a hiking trip in northern Ellesmere.  We did a trip in Ellesmere in 1996.  It makes Baffin look very "southern".
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2005, 10:47:54 AM »
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Thanks, Peter and everyone, for the suggestions and information.  I have a good idea where to start to look into options.

Lisa
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