First Day on the Trail

Skiing out of Naujaat. Photo: Garry Tutte/Arctic Return


Saturday. Winds still blowing strong, but we felt the need to make a start. The team packed up camp, bright and early, and set off with our heavy sleds in tow. Happy to be under way after the weather delay.

Our heading on the sea-ice is West along a well-used skidoo trail that will take us toward the mouth of the North Pole River. As it was our first day’s travel we didn’t want to make it an overly long one, so we stopped near a cabin situated approximately 7k short of that. To our surprise a group of Inuit had come out from the community expecting to rendezvous with us at the river’s mouth which is also the location of Dr. John Rae’s mid-19th century, “overwintering” stone house. More on that tomorrow.

Travel Conditions: Traversing the sea-ice, on skis and pulling heavy sleds, was relatively smooth and easy along the skidoo trail today. The route our expedition is ultimately taking, which is the one Rae took, is not used by the Inuit living in the area today. It won’t be too long before the skidoo trail ends and we will be on our own. The upcoming week’s weather looking cold but sunny. Great for travel.

A special note of thanks to our expedition sponsor, Roadpost ( for their generous support helping out with the satellite phone airtime minutes that make all our comms and this daily blog possible. Thank you!!  [David, Garry, Richard and Frank]