Camping on Ellesmere island and hike to a glacier moraine

14, 15 August - 2004

Our kayak trip to Ellesmere island continues paddling to the north, close to 79th parallel on the opposite side of Alexandra Fiord, a nice spot for long hikes around ancient glacier moraine and for further kayak excursions to small nearby islands.

Ellesmere island
Below dense, but nice clouds, the group move to a different camp, close to 79th parallel.

 

 

Having a short break in the Arctic ocean, among blue icebergs.

 

 

Paddling in the high arctic
Paddling along the eastern coast of Ellesmere island.

 

After several hours of paddling, we reach a suitable bay where to land with our kayaks.

 

Ellesmere island
Then, after setting up the tent, I start to explore the surrounding area.

 

The water is very fresh and clean, safe to drink without taking any precaution.

 

Like in most other places of Ellesmere island, I continue to spot bones everywhere.

 

Our kayaks just grounded in a suitable small bay of Ellesmere island

 

Just below the surface of the sea, there are huge blocks of ice.

 

Still more bones, some of them attacked by lichens.

 

A nice Saxifraga oppositifolia with flowers (flower's size about 8mm).

 

Ellesmere island Ellesmere island
The following day the weather improves, the sky looks nice with small, low clouds.

 

Ellesmere island
The landscape of Ellessmere island around Bache peninsula.

 

Ellesmere island Ellesmere island
Ellesmere island Ellesmere island
More photos of Ellesmere island.

 

Without any wind, the surface of the sea becomes a perfect mirror reflecting small pieces of ice.

 

Ellesmere island Ellesmere island
After dinner, although it's quite cold and windy again, I start a walk to a nearby waterfall. The sky is still nice, ideal for pictures.

 

Glacier moraine Glacier moraine
Glacier moraine On the way to the waterfall, I discover i nice glacier moraine and I revert the hike to moraine. Indeed, it's not easy at all to move over these rocks, but looks safe enough.

 

Glacier moraine Glacier moraine
Sometimes there are steep climbs and very large stones.


 

Perhaps for the sheltered position or higher humidity (there is some water running between the stones), the mosses and lichens are particularly vigorous.

 

I then decide to descent and go back to the base camp. I don't have any idea about how far away the glacier is, it may perhaps require a full day hike, and is already late night.

 

 

Pelican case
In the meanwhile, I've finished the memory cards, so it's now time to create a backup copy of the pictures, using a portable hard drive and a CD Recorder. Of each memory card, I usually make one copy on the hard drive and 3 CD-ROMs, before reformatting and reusing them. The equipment works with a homemade battery pack, accepting standard (and inexpensive) AA batteries.

 

The following day we leave again for a different area. Loaded with luggage and provisions, the kayak may be heavy, so the efforts of the entire group are necessary to launch them.

 

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