Skiing Couloirs on Baffin Island
When May finally hits after a long and cold winter, most people get excited to bust their mountain bikes or climbing gear out of the garage and jump into spring with no looking back. Others, however, buy a ticket to the Canadian Arctic. That’s just what G3 athletes and friends Chad Sayers and Jamie Bond recently did, joining fellow shredders Jordan Manley, Tobin Seagel and Marcus Waring on a 3 week ski-mountaineering adventure on Baffin Island.
With temperatures of -39C with wind-chill, thousands hundreds of kilometer’s of sea-ice between them and the nearest town, polar bear tracks nearby, and 3000km to the most likely rescue helicopters, you’d have to wonder how it beats the start of bike season. But add the jaw-dropping views and world-class couloirs littered every 2km along the fjord walls… now things are starting to look promising.
The quintet of skiers spent the better part of 3 weeks mucking about in and around Sam Fjord Ford, a well-known destination among big-wall climbing fiends, and scored day after day of mind-blowing couloir skiing. The hard-packed yet breakable Styrofoam snow left a bit to be desired, but it was easily outweighed by the promise of 2-4000ft classic couloirs in every direction with massive 1-2000ft walls towering above the skier from top to bottom. You know, the usual right?
Over the course of the trip the group hit about 14 ski lines between them, scored kite-skiing when conditions allowed, chased a seal or two to no avail, steered clear of polar bear tracks, carved frozen butter into every meal, blew three toe-pieces from old skis, froze a few fingertips and toes, and all the other good stuff that comes with a ski trip in the Canadian arctic. But you can bet they’d do it again…