The Lake Hazen to Tanquary Fiord traverse on north Ellesmere Island was a major, landmark trip for the two of us. It was, and still is, the furthest north we have ever been. We reached 81.9° N which is less than 200 km south of the most northern point of land on earth at 83.67° N. In retrospect we should have walked 11 km further north to cross the 82° N mark! In relation to our home in Vancouver, Lake Hazen is:
Ellesmere Island is the world’s tenth largest island being only slightly smaller than the island of Great Britain whose population is 60 million. About 200 people live on Ellesmere Island: Canada’s most northerly community on the south shore (Grise Fiord), the world’s most northerly military base (Alert) near the north end, and a weather station at 80° N (Eureka). The area we were in was called the Ellesmere Island National Park Reserve at that time. In 1999 it became the Quttinirpaaq National Park which in Inuktitut means “Land at the Top of the World”, an appropriate name.
Nine of us flew on scheduled airlines to Resolute which is the second most northerly community in Canada. From there we chartered a Twin Otter plane on tundra tires from Kenn Borek Air and flew almost 800 km further north to Lake Hazen. At Lake Hazen we first did a day trip up a local mountain, then a three day loop hike, and finally the traverse to Tanquary Fiord with 10 camps along the way.
This was the trip where we first met our friend Doug who lives in Toronto. Liz organized this trip and was looking for people to fill the expensive chartered plane. She couldn’t find enough people through our local contacts so she advertised for participants in the Alpine Club of Canada’s local sections across the country. Doug is a member of the ACC Toronto section, saw the notice, and signed up immediately. We’ve done many trips with Doug since then.
Following is a Google Earth tour of our trip:
Now the photos which are scanned transparencies. If you expand the photo viewer to full page the “Adventures” menu will stop working. This is because of technical issues with the website software. Pick any other menu item and go to that web page. The “Adventures” menu will then work properly.