Thursday, 11 July 2019

Landing on skis

We flew into Alexandra Fiord a month earlier this year to hopefully catch and record the snow melt date in the plots and be able to record leaf phenology from bud break onwards. The airstrip and the tundra lowlands are still covered with snow in early June so our Twin Otter plane landed on the sea ice. A new and exciting experience for me. Our pilot did several passes over the sea ice of the Fiord to find a suitable spot to land and executed a perfect landing on a strip of smooth ice just out from the RCMP buildings.

Our Twin Otter flight into Alexandra Fiord landed on skis on the sea ice in the fiord. We unloaded our three months worth of gear onto the sea ice.

Mountains as far as the eye can see as we fly over Ellesmere Island on our way into Alexandra Fiord.

The flight from Resolute to Alex was stunning. We flew low over Jones Sound and took the scenic route up the east coast of Ellesmere Island. Glaciers, Fiords and snowy mountainous terrain brought huge smiles to our faces and lots of “wows” and photos. We could clearly see Greenland across the Northern Water polynya.

Fiords and mountains on Ellesmere Island seen from our Twin Otter flight into Alexandra Fiord.     
Glacier tumbling into a Fiord on Ellesmere Island seen from our flight into Alexandra Fiord. 

On our flight was food for four people for six weeks or more and all our equipment and personal gear for three months in the field. All the gear was placed on the sea ice. Our first task was to ferry the gear on pulks across the sea ice, through the jumbled ice near shore and onto the land fast ice platform, and from there carry it by hand up a steep rocky slope to the camp. Quite the workout but fun on such a beautiful sunny blue-sky day.

We ferried our mountain of gear and supplies by pulk to camp.

Taking a break from load carrying on a gorgeous sunny day at Alexandra Fiord.

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