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Messages - Umiujaq

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Quote
crazy but I'm going back to Akshayuk pass mid July....

Humm not that crazy !! I can understand your desire to go back. And it must be pretty different in summer.

And here is a little anecdote about our relationship with the wind when we were there (late march 2006).

We got a snowmobile ride from an outfitter to get from Qikitarjuaq to the entrance of the valley (to avoid polar bear encounter). But at our arrival, the outfitter realized that one ski fell off the komatik during the trip. So he told us that he would try to find it on the way back and catch us two day later. (the owner of the lost ski had also a pair of snowshoes so it was not a big problem).

The two first days were very easy with mild weather -20°C, warm sun and ...... no wind !!!! Before the trip, we had been strongly warned about the strong katabatic winds rushing down the Penny ice cap in the funnel valley. So we were puzzled by this calm weather and saying out loud ''pfff this place is not windy !!!!''  Maybe that insulted the local wind divinity  ;D

So on the second day, the outfitter (an old Inuit hunter raised in the area) meets us as planned with the lost ski. At that moment there was just the smallest breeze. But he took an intense worried look at the horizon and said '' humm, its getting windy !!!'' Then he just gave us the ski, quickly jumped on his snowmobile and disappeared as fast as he could.

At that point we were thinking ''man this got to be a joke !!!''

No more than 15 min later we were setting camp in emergency. We were tent bound four 3 day, spending our time building snow wall.

Later on the trip, same thing happened (at the end of summit lake). One morning, after 3 days/ 2nights of howling, the wind stopped completely just like that. We just had time to pack our gear and start moving to cross the lake....and in a matter of seconds it started again.....stronger.....and in the opposite direction ??? So strong that I could feel it passing trough the stitches of my gore-tex.

But what a nice trip I would go back there anytime  ;D



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Katekate !

So you been trough the Akshayuk pass in Ayuittuq Nat. park (I can see Mt Thor in the picture you posted).

This place is really a trip-of-a-life-time destination !!!

Just one question.....how was the wind  ;)

Looking forward to the details...

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General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: The winter kitchen
« on: January 08, 2009, 03:30:31 pm »
Quote
Boil in the bag or instant freeze dried meals seem like they may be way easier but I try to avoid these. They are not good for you and rarely satisfy my hunger after a day on the trail or paddling.

Same for me, I really don't like commercial freeze dried, taste bad, don't satisfy my hunger and they are expensive.

90% of what I eat is dehydrated food, but it is home made dehydrated food (or better yet mother made  ;D....her dehydrated paella is excellent !!). You can easily do that in you oven, or buy a small dehydrator. But it takes a lot of time. My girlfriend also tried to dehydrate soup.....took 2-3 days, but from 2 liters she got 300g of soup powder. Spaghetti sauce work well too. And I also make a lot of pemmican for my winter trips.


 

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General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Boiling water...
« on: January 02, 2009, 09:33:32 am »
Ted,
Your chimney look like a very good system, I think I will build something like that  ;D

I my case, for cooking and boilling water, I use a heavy and thick bottom pot. The kind of expensive professional cookware (like aluminium pot with copper bottom) that I would never buy for my own apartment kitchen. But in the field, this help to melt ice faster because heat is transmitted much more efficiently, and on the long run help save fuel.

Another very important equipment is the pot insulator. I made one with foam pad and aluminium foil. You can put your pot into it and cover it so it wont sit on the snow and get cold before you can eat your meal. Also It keep things warm enough so that the cooking-simmering process will continue for 2-3 min.

Finally I also use a dragonfly, not sure if it is the best stove....but its the only one I ever had !


5
When I was 16 (with much more energy than experience) I went on a backcountry ski trip across the Chic-Chocs Mountains with two friends.

We were sleeping in shelters equipped with wood stoves, so I was only carrying a small summer sleeping bag and just enough clothing to stay warm while moving. Not even a small down parka or an extra fleece shirt. And, it was pretty cold that day so I was wearing all my layers. I had an almost windproof outer shell with no hood, and nothing to protect my face! Also I was wearing gloves not mittens.

On the third day of this 10 day trip, we needed to cover 25km to get to the shelter and we were slowly breaking trail in deep snow with heavy backpack. At mid-day, wind started blowing stronger and stronger and we found ourselves in the middle of an intense blizzard.  (the park ranger later told me it was the worst in 10 years …..and this is one of the regions that get the most snow in the province !!)

We kept moving, but I was blinded by the snow blowing in my face and was starting to get exhausted. We still had a good distance to cover but we were already in the dark (of course, we had no head-lamp !).

But then one of my partner who was better equipped (windproof hood, ski goggles etc.) was able to see a glimpse of light from the frost covered window of the shelter and we managed to find our way to the door.

We entered the shelter at around 8pm, I had some frostbite on my hands and I was completely exhausted and dehydrated.

This was the first time I felt I was in a life-threatening situation and I was absolutely not prepared for that.

Well let’s just say that I learned a lot from this, and since then yes I carry the 10 essentials including emergency shelter and extra clothing !!!

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Back Country Skiing Discussion / Re: ?Binding choice?
« on: December 15, 2008, 04:13:14 pm »
I don't think there is a big difference in performance between NNN and SNS bindings. So maybe the best thing is to start with the boot. Find the boot that is the most comfrotable to your feet and then go with whatever binding these boots are made for.
Also, you can look if you want normal (NNN, SNS) binding or backcountry (NNN-BC, X-adventure) bindings. For what you describe (lake, backcountry and trail) a BC binding with a light BC ski can be a good combination.

From the different model I tried, I would say that the Rossignol (NNN-BC) are a bit more stiff and fit better on a narrow foot.

Getting the same binding for the whole family as mentioned by Lost_patrol is also an excellent idea.

And I agree that Berwin would not fit your needs.


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Winter Camping Clothing / Re: Face & Nose Protection?
« on: December 12, 2008, 04:13:44 pm »
Pake

Your are right, I am not in Minnesota! But I am not in the treeless landscape seen in the picture either. That was taken during a trip to Baffin Island two year ago. And I choose my forum name from an Inuit village on the eastern coast of Hudson Bay where I am heading for my next big trip in a few weeks. And yes I travel with a pulk (home made).

My real location is Québec City. And I don’t want to make anyone jealous....but we received a good 50 cm (20 inches) of fresh snow this week! I am going camping this weekend !!!!

One other thing about the nose piece.... I also wear this when I travel to my work by bicycle in winter. Imagine these goggles, with a helmet and some flashing light for safety in the dark. Make me look like some kind of astronaut, I think it scares some drivers  ;D

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Winter Camping Clothing / Re: Face & Nose Protection?
« on: December 12, 2008, 10:58:19 am »
Dear wintertrekkers

I just find out this great site and forum ! And I would like to enter this discussion on face and nose protection.

Well first, I am also a big fan of fur hood, I find this very effective in windy condition to create an area of warmer air close to your face.

Pake : I like the idea of a removable fur collar and of the wire stiffener! I did the stupid mistake of washing my anorak with the undetacheble fur collar.....the leather shrunk and the fur collar was ruined !! But its not so bad, now I can make a new and better one.


Beside all that, one of my favourite nose protection for bad weather (especially when its really windy) is a simple piece of foam pad sewn to my goggles. I made a huge difference on a long trip where we were always facing wind.



On this picture you see that the hood is not fully closed, I was able to bring it closer to my face. And just this small piece of fur did a good difference. This plus the modified ski goggles and a balaclava and I was fully wind and cold proof.

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