Overnight, the winds dropped and the temperature plummeted. This was one of the coldest mornings, -20C at 8am. Patrick is handling the metal pot grips with bare hands (!!), filling the nalgene bottles with hot water. Cold air but not humid thus his skin didn’t stick to the metal. By digging the sleds into the snow plus adding some snow chunks, we created a small wind shelter for the cook. It also meant stuff could be put down and it wouldn’t immediately blow away (note titanium pot lid on the ground).
It’s the perfect day for a hike. Happily leaving the tent, sleds and gear behind, we huff and puff our way up the south moraine of the Caribou glacier. There looking east north east, we are rewarded with fantastic views of Mount Sigurd (elevation: 1838m / 6030 ft ) and Mount Gram (elevation: 1320m / 4330ft), their feet frozen in Summit Lake.
Looking west and north, across the Caribou glacier, peeping out in the distance is flat topped Mount Asgard. Likely the most well known mountain on Baffin Island, and perhaps Nunavut, Asgard tops out at 2015m / 6610 ft. It is not the highest mountain on Baffin Island (that is Mount Odin 2147m / 7044 ft located nearby) but one of the most famous, the site of base jump for 1975 James Bond movie, The Spy Who Love Me. We toyed with the idea of walking a loop for closer views of Asgard but with no skis or snow shoes, it was unrealistic (due to post holing). Everywhere, the ubiquitous inukshuk, this one wearing a Canadian Helicopter cap.
Coming back down the views were just as good! Patrick is dwarfed by the bulk of this glacial remnant. Perhaps it rolled down from above? We saw a snow avalanche, first alerted by the sound of falling rocks, then the clouds of powdery snow rushing down a narrow chute: 3 minutes later, it was quiet again except for a tiny puft at the base of a mountain. If it ever rolled, this granite chunk had potential for hiker ‘splat’ with the Summit Lake cabins below.
Along the Weasel and Owl river, spaced about one day walk apart, there are a bunch of emergency shelters. These small orange shed sized huts are stocked with only a radio and not much else. It was emphasized that they are meant for emergency use only. We checked out a few but were not in the least temped to lunch or bed down inside as camping was waaaaaay more comfortable. Along side the shelters were the ‘emergency’ outhouses – posted rules (in English, French and Inuktituk) that stated things like: ‘low flush toilet, hold handle firmly until done’. Kidding!