Majestic towers, carved in bedrock by glaciers, shooting straight for the sun: such scenery is what Auyuittuq National Park has to offer. It is, without a doubt, one of the most awe-inspiring places on Earth. Set in the middle of the Penny Ice Cap, bisected from North to South by the Akshayuk pass, an immense valley opens inland.
A trek surrounded by austere looking, barren plateaus, that will take you to two of the park’s most spectacular lookouts, Thor Peak and Mount Asgard.
On your way, you will have an opportunity to see impressive rock formations dating back to the last ice age, moraines, boulder fields, and much more. During this hike, you will tread over terrain ranging from arid gravel to damp, fertile tundra, with sharp peaks and a huge glacier in the backdrop. So many images that will remain with you forever.
Leaving Qikiqtarjuaq, we will wind our way through a maze of islands and icebergs for three hours and get dropped off at the park’s northern entrance. Then, 11 days of hiking will take you over 100 km (62 mi) of breathtaking scenery. Throughout the trek, you will be mesmerized by the presence of glaciers, landscapes and mountains each more impressive than the last. Our goal will be to reach the Southern entrance of the Park, where we will be a mere 30 km (19 mi) boat from Pangnirtung, our destination.
To hike the Akshayuk Pass, you will need to be able to hike with a 20-29 kg (45-65 lb) backpack for a distance of 8 km to 15 km (5 to 9 mi) per day (6 to 8 hours a day). The trail is not technical and does not present an altitude challenge; however, at times you will have to cross glacier-fed rivers, with water up to your knees. Your days will be spent in the great outdoors, while nights will be spent in a tent. You should be prepared to live outside for the entire trip and have camping experience.
After leaving Auyuittuq Park, a Panniqturmiutaq guide (Pangnirtung resident) will take you on a boat ride to the remarkable Kekerten Island, where you can see the remnants of a whaling station that would have been at its busiest in the 1870s. To this day, the artifacts on Kekerten Island are carefully preserved.
This guided tour will take you through a part of history that is kept alive by a few elders in the village. “Pang” for the intimate, is a small northern community with a rich history and a booming art and crafts scene. Pangnirtung, this historic community, which serves as a gateway to the park, will fascinate you.
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