Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I took these shots on Sunday – the temp when I left the house was -34 but there was a breeze blowing from the north – always a problem since I was going south and I therefore the return trip would be into the wind. The wind seemed to die down a bit so off I went. It was ok crossing the bay – West Arm but I could definitely feel the cold coming through the north side of my jacket. When it came time to turn south and the wind was at my back, traveling was much better – though the wind did pick up and snow was blowing on the ground. When I started to cross over the top of the plateau the wind dropped and it was fairly nice out.

I got to the ice bergs at dawn and started to set up fro some pix – figured I shoot first and climbing after since the ice would get mucked up. Looking back to shore I noticed a black thing that wasn’t there a few minutes ago – which resolved itself into a lone musk ox. It regarded me with curiosity for a few minutes, slowly started to come out on the ice then thought better of it and went back to munching mosses and lichens.
The wind was picking up and was now coming out of the northwest. I took as many pix as I could before the batteries died and then proceeded to crampon all over the thing. I though that the ice would be brittle but it actually took the ice tools very well and I was getting one swing sticks. The wind picked up even more and before I could much more bouldering a cloud bank started to move in with the wind. Not much choice but to pack up and try and cross the plateau before the visibility degraded entirely. The lighting went totally flat and pulling the sled became a real chore as it hooked on every snow feature possible. I got back to where I could see the North Warning site just before the wind picked up again. By the time I was back on the bay and almost back to town a full on ground blizzard had picked up – which as of Tuesday morning is still blowing. All in all a good weekend.


Karin Nicolaisen said...

Hi Eric, your sunday excursion for me is absolutly incredible. I live in Andalucia Spain and for me your part of the world seems to be very cold. A Blizzard for saying you had a lovely weekend is unbelievable.All your pictures are wonderful. What are you doing in this place are you in holydays?

Eric Hoogstraten said...

Hi Karin -thanks for the comment! I teach math and physics at the High school here. I thought I'd like to spent a little more time in the Arctic than I normally do. Glad you like the pix - we are just going on Christmas break now but it's back to work in January. Must be nice is Spain - good weather for rock climbing.

Karin Nicolaisen said...

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I saw your new pictures it is looking like the northern lights in north Norway. But still I feel sorry for you. It seems to be a very hard work to do this pictures.
I am living close to the only dessert in Europe and in January when you will be back to work maybe I could send you some pictures which are more easily to be taken. If you go back to Canada to see your parents give my regards to them,your mother is my cousin,
Regards Karin