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. After a two-day hike surrounded by severe-looking, barren plateaus, we will set up base camp. From there, you will go on a day hike to one of the most spectacular lookouts of the park, Mount Thor.
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 five-day hike, you will tread over terrain ranging from arid gravel to humid, fertile tundra, with sharp peaks and a huge glacier in the backdrop. Memories like these are unlikely to fade away.
To hike Auyuittuq Park you will need to be able to hike with a 16 to 20 kg (35-45 lb) backpack for a distance of 8 to 18 km (5 to 12 mi) per day (4 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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