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Baffin Island update: Babes and GoNorth! arrived at their destinations

Posted: Jun 05, 2009 11:05 am EDT

(ThePoles.com) The Baffin Babes arrived at Pond Inlet on 31 May, 82 days after they were dropped north of Qikiqtarjuaq. The GoNorth! team arrived at Clyde River. They have also been on the Island since March.

Baffin Babes

Emma reflected on the nearly 80 days that the girls spent skiing on Baffin Island. She said a year ago they gather in Oslo for a planning weekend, Putting out 38 pieces of maps like a puzzle on the floor. Trying to figure out a good route, not knowing how the landscape looked like, trying to read it from the maps.

When they started temperatures were cold; minus 38 on the first day. For the first 27 days they never took their three pairs of long johns off.

They went through the change of seasons and are now experiencing 24 hours daylight and warm temperatures. So much so that they sometimes ski in just our underwear, stopping for a quick cool off in an open crack or seal hole.

Emma said, Before we started, 80 days sounded like such a long time, now it's behind me, but most of all with me. And to be honest I wouldn't mind continue further, stay out here longer. And I can see that the others also are a bit melancholic.

GoNorth! Nunavut 2009

Before the group arrived at Clyde River they were tent bounded by a ground blizzard for 36 hours. It took them two hours to dig out the tents and sleds. The blizzard also hardened the snow, which speeded up their travel on the Arctic Ocean.

The Polar Huskies were at full-out speed, reported the team, passing by the fingers of spectacular fiords that stretch all the way into the Barnes Icecap before entering the nice little inlet or Kangiqtugaapik, the traditional Inuit name for the community, as it sits brilliantly nestled in the bay off the shores of the Arctic Ocean.

See the teams website for videos. Click here.

Baffin Babes: Two Swedish sisters, Vera Simonsson and Emma Simonsson, and two friends from Norway, Kristin Folsland Olsen and Ingebjørg Tollefsen attempt a sledge-hauling ski expedition on Baffin Island. They started 11 March 2009 and want to cover approximately 1400 km in 80 days. Their route starts from Qikiqtarjuaq via Clyde River, a resupply point, and from there to Pond Inlet. Two dogs from Baffin Island, Buck and Anu, will accompany them. They arrived at Pond Inlet on 31 May.

GoNorth! is an Arctic adventure learning program for K-12 classrooms developed at the University of Minnesota. This year is the fourth of a five-year program with the current expedition on the ice in Nunavut, Canada. The first program took place in 2006 in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska; the second in 2007 in Chukotka, Russia; and the third one in 2008 in Fennoscandia (Northern Scandinavia Norway, Sweden, Finland). The 2010 program will take place on Greenland. 2009 team members are Mille Porsild (Denmark), Aaron Doering (USA), Mikkel Kettil (Denmark) and Chris Ripken (USA); and two dog teams.

Baffin Babes
GoNorth! Nunavut 2009

The Baffin Babes celebrating their arrival at Pond Inlet. Live image over Contact 4.0 courtesy of humanedgetech.com/expedition/baffinbabes (click to enlarge)
Polar Huskies, Mille and Mikkel in Clyde River. Live image courtesy of polarhusky.com (click to enlarge)