The last 48 hours have been an eye opener to the harshness of the Baffin Island weather.
After almost 2 weeks of cold temperatures, blue skies and hardly a breath of wind, we awoke to messages of increasing wind and snow forecasted. We donned our face masks, goggles and covering every bit of skin, headed out early onto the ice with the hint of northern lights above. The aim for the day was to follow a hunting route across the ice to our next stop, an old, small hunters’ & trappers’ hut.
It started relatively wild before calming through the early afternoon. It revealed some spectacular scenery below the low cloud, yet in the distance we could see the cloud rolling across the mountains and in our direction.
The wind began to pick up considerably and the visibility reduced. All we could make out was the silhouette of the mountains initially but that soon faded to only our immediate surroundings. With heads down and marching on our progress slowed as conditions worsened. Then out of the whirling snow and fog came the headlights of two skidoos, heading home away from the storm. A quick hello was exchanged before heading our separate ways and onto our refuge. We all pilled in. The house was beginning to rattle in the wind. We spent the evening warming up, wrapped in down jackets and hats as despite being indoors the temperatures were around -30C. Some tea that spilt froze instantly on the floor.
We awoke in the morning to the snow piled against the door and continuing high winds that have been hitting the whole region. It was to be a rest day until visibility and the wind more importantly reduced. We have since been huddled round a small corner of the hut warming ourselves, drying our kit and listening to the odd howl from Colin and his partner in crime (who self selected to come on the trip) , Jemima, his sister or girlfriend – we aren’t quite sure. The evening is being spent preparing for our onward journey further up the coast and more incredible sights and experiences to be had.