Man and His Dog Alone in the Arctic – E.4 – Emergency Shelter & Blizzard

Deeper into North Pangnirtung Fjord I continued on the Arctic Ocean with my dog, documenting my trip while dealing with the challenges of the expedition and Arctic survival. Polar Bear human interaction was still a concern and would be until I got deep into Baffin Island’s Akshakyuk Pass. Good weather made for good wilderness travel conditions and after about four hours of hauling, I made it to the pass. I did not want to travel any more that day, and because Polar Bear danger was still a concern here by the sea ice, I decided to stay in an emergency shelter for safety. I collected snow blocks and melted water with my Double Burner Coleman Stove, drank some water, cooked dinner and went to sleep.

The next morning, I awake to extremely strong winds. It was not particularly cold out but the winds were blowing at about 80kmph and I decided to walk into them anyways. It was not a good choice. After pushing hard into the wind, I realised I’m not making it very far at all and began to sweat and exhaust myself. After making it about one or two km, I decided to turn back and I took refuge in the emergency shelter again. The day drags on and on and the weather doesn’t break. Finally, late in the evening, the weather subsides. Akshayuk Pass can act as a wind tunnel and I’d experienced a little of the strong winds it can muster. I climbed in bed again, ready to begin a good day of travelling the following morning.

I awoke at about 5am to howling winds, and at first light, I discover a full-on Blizzard outside. I didn’t consider travelling at all this day. It’s a long and boarding day hanging out with Buck in the shelter and I kicked myself for forgetting my book. The weather had not calmed come evening and I started thinking that maybe it would never break….I started feeling a little stir crazy.

Finally, after spending three nights in the survival shelter, the weather broke and I began travelling on a beautiful morning…but as Buck and I began trekking, the wind started picking up again.

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