Muskox Land

muskox land Day 60 of Expedition
Position: Wolfcamp Slidre Fiord, Ellesmere Island, N 79° 56′ W 085° 23′

We are now spending our last few days exploring the terrain between Slidre Fiord and the Sawtooth Mountains on Ellesmere Island. Because of the early spring thaw we are doing this by foot and on skis. There is simply not enough snow in the interior to travel with our three dog teams. We have heard from the metereologists and base personnel at Eureka that the Spring thaw was at least 3 weeks early this year. This is unfortunately another sign of a warming Arctic.

Because of our many wolf visits in camp, we had another three wolves in camp today, we are exploring two with groups where one is always in camp looking after the dogs. This is not a problem since we also can hike during the night under the midnight sun. Virtually the only difference between night and day is that it is slightly colder during the night. During our hike today we encountered lots of musk ox and saw numerous wolf tracks. One of the musk ox herds we saw had no calves unlike all the previous groups we have seen. It is likely that the wolves might have conducted a successful hunt on the calves of this muskox herd. It is not hard to see why the Inughuit of Northern Greenland who traditionally hunted on Northern Elesmere named this island Muskox Land. This beautifull land is truly the domain of this tough and sterdy animal. We have now only two days left of our expedition and we are all feeling both a longing to see friends and family at home and a sadness about having to leave this fantastic wilderness. I do not think that anyone who gets the privilege of experiencing these regions of the Earth leaves the arctic unchanged. This expedition countinues to make a great impact on me and I look forward to spending the upcoming time of my life to work on the protection of this very region.

 

All my best, Toby

 

 

 

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This dispatch was created and posted using Dispatch 1.0 – an expedition dispatch software developed by Climate Generation and Global Warming 101 Expeditions.

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