Friday, 3 July 2015

Mountain Goats

Mcgill and Omingmak mountains are the back drop to our camp on Lake Hazen. Omingmak means muskox in Inuktitut and McGill Mountain was named by four McGill University graduate students who spent the winter at Camp Hazen in 1957-58 recording the weather. Over the weekend we climbed both peaks and got nicknamed “mountain goats”. To be fair we were already ¾ of the way up McGill anyway visiting one of my field sites so it was only a 1/2hr scramble to the summit. While writing in the summit register I realised I had been on the summit of McGill 2 years ago that same day but oh how different it was. In 2013 there was deep snow everywhere and it was cold. This year we were in shirt sleeves on a lovely sunny day and the purple saxifrage was already in flower right on the summit.

McGill Mountain taken from the still frozen Lake Hazen 
with Camp Hazen in the foreground. My highest 
field site is ¾ of the way up McGill Mountain on 
the right hand skyline.

On our way to hike up Omingmak the next day, we were excited to see a large herd of muskox with 4 young calves and how appropriate as we head up their name sake. The muskox is related to the goat so it was fitting that the “mountain goats” were climbing Omingmak. We made good time getting to the summit in just four hours including having to ford the Snow Goose River. It was another beautiful sunny day with great views along the 60km Lake Hazen, the Agassiz icecap to the south and the Abbe Glacier to the north.

Omingmak Mountain from Camp Hazen. Omingmak
means muskox in Inuktitut. It took us 4hours to reach
the summit from camp. 

Summiting Omingmak Mountain with the Snow Goose 
River Valley in the background.

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