As a geographer, I’d always been fascinated about skiing locations. People generally don’t realize that you can ski at many places in the World which aren’t associated with snow. Although Baffin Island is cold and white, the last thing they think about is skiing steeps couloirs.
For summer reading I picked up at the library Mark Synnott’s Climbing, Trekking & Skiing Baffin Island Guide book. I had seen beautiful pictures of the Baffin Island’s Auyuittuq National Park and know friends that have been, it just shows what is possible. There is also incredible skiing on the north part of the island near Clyde River.
Part of the ski descents sections are written by ski mountaineer Andrew McLean. McLean and his partner Brad Barlage did the many first descents and named them including Polar Star Couloir in April 2002. He defines the couloir off the Beluga Spin as
possibly the best skiing couloir on earth (…) long narrow, turnable, steep, sheltered, straight and stunning 1100 m (3,640′) of 45-50 degrees.
Since then McLean has returned to Baffin Island. This month I featured an episode from “A Skier’s Journey”. Getting there is part of the adventure. Jamie Bond, Chad Sayers, Tobin Seagel, Marcus Waring and Chad & Jordan Manley collaborate to ski, film, narrate and edited in this excellent episode on Baffin Island. You get a glimpse of the PSC neat the 2 minute mark and see the descent at 8:15.
High in the Canadian Arctic, five friends venture to the frozen fjords of Northwest Baffin Island during spring time. Ancient and colossal, these branching hallways of rock are the domain of seals and polar bears, and relied upon by local Inuit hunters. For visiting skiers, the fjords are nothing short of a dream. In every direction, giant couloirs ascend thousands of feet above the sea ice, weaving in between some of the tallest and cliffs on the planet.
The following posts are written by Andrew McLean and taken from his sites.