Today I headed to the Arctic Circle with a trip to Auyuittuq National Park. Visiting the park is something that is heaps of fun, and reminds me how blessed I am to have it in my backyard. The views are so freak’n amazing! The last time I visited the Arctic Circle was in April of 2009...and also visited Crater Lake… I blogged about it on my original blog. I attempted to head to the Arctic Circle but only made it to Overlord in April 2013. So today it was time to get there…that was the plan, but really whenever I leave town it’s just to see what I can see! (Sometimes planned things don’t happen, but the unplanned things are even better!)
The start of the trip always happens at the Parks office…this year they had gotten seal skin parkas and mittens to lend to guests going into the park. I took a moment to pose with it just before I left Pang. (I ended up wearing my own parka–just because I knew I’d be warm enough in it).
Trying on the new parkas at the orientation session at the Parks Office before we headed out. (Everyone that goes into the park has to have an orientation session and fill out paperwork and pay the park fee!)
Soon enough we were off…in our snowmobile – qamutik train! (I got to ride in the last qamutik.)
Joavee our outfitter had a couple of stops so we could get up and move around! Perfect for getting the blood flowing again–but honestly, it was a pretty warm day overall.
Our first longish stop was at Ulu Peak Safety cabin… I did a day hike here in the September of 2013. It was fun to get a ride this time…
Ulu Peak is the first on the left–it’s top is in the clouds and it’s a wee bit pointy!
We found the book of stories in the safety cabin–I wrote in the book again (on the left) and found my message from 2013 (on the right).
Just enjoying the day…and the warm sealskin parka from Parks!
Parks Canada is in the process of installing red chairs in all their National Parks. Today I headed into the park with all parks staff–so they assembled the last chair for Ulu Peak Safety Cabin.
After it was done… we of course had to have fun taking photos with it!
Everyone had a chance to sit in the chair–it was very comfy.
The first group shot with the chair!
It was moved and then ‘tied’ to the Safety Cabin until a more permanent location and way of securing it can happen! There was some talk of putting it up on the flat rock behind the cabin—but we’ll see where it ends up.
Just as we left–the sun peaked through the clouds, and blue skies started to come our way.
We took the snowmobiles to Crater Lake–and then we had to get out to walk.
First we had a stop for a quick lunch….
Stopping to enjoy the sun and scenery!
Then it was time to start the walk…very soon it was evident we were all hiking with too many layers. We stopped a few times to take off layers—because it was just too hot! (I ended up hiking in just my headband (no hat); long john top…then my long johns and fleece pj pants. (If i had enough guts to do it…I would have taken off the fleece pj pants as well!
It was a gorgeous day for a hike! There was a lot of snow in the park…but hard to walk on because of the ice underneath it! This was totally different than in 2009—it was all dirt and little snow at all in the park just sand and ice.
The views are just so giant-sized!
We made it! I decided that I should bring some “trees” to the Arctic Circle via my fleece PJ pants that normally no one knows I have on under my snow pants–but it was just too darn hot today with that many layers!
It’s always a good spot for a group photo! …did you notice the ‘head’ off of the Inuksuk fell off? (It fell off with the wind apparently!)
Joavee our outfitter extraordinaire!
…I keep coming back to this park because the views and the mountains never get old.
The guys gave us a ride back to the base of Crater Lake…some of the photos below I took while on a moving snowmobile! (…the selfie and scenery and other snowmobile and hiker photos!)
Crater Lake is a lake that’s held together by a glacial moraine. in 2009 we hiked up into the lake…walked over the bright blue lake with heaps of bubbles frozen in it. But today we hiked up the side of the moraine to get a look at the glacier.
I was so shocked to see how much it had receded in the last 6 years. My photo from 2009 on the right and 2015 on the right. It’s hard to see but the arch on the right–that’s the bottom of it now…when it use to reach the lake (which is the white flat surface in the photo).
…these photos below are from my trip in 2009. I stood (in the middle photo) at the base of that glacier…I wonder how many more years it will be around for? One of the parks guides said that he predicted years ago…that it would be totally gone in 10 years. Sadly, I think he might be right.
Climbing up the moraine was a steep climb… (can you see the people coming up?)
Sometimes when you get to the top of a moraine you just need to JUMP! (in a sealskin parka…which might be quite warm, especially when your photographer keeps asking you to repeat….thanks for being such a great sport!)
“Are we back at the Skidoos yet?” “Oh ya–I think I see them…. “
The end of a great day…of fun in Auyuittuq National Park! I seriously loved that parka–if only it was just a teeny bit bigger and of course my tree pants really are the last part to the perfect wardrobe!
And we are on our way home…with smiles and heaps more memories from a day in the Park. We totally lucked out with great weather. Close to town it started to get really windy–and it’s been blowing and snowing ever since! Glad I’m safe at home now…