Sunday Photo – Baffin Island Iceberg Camp

| June 22, 2008
Editors Note: Sundays are meant for skiing, climbing, riding and almost anything but sitting in front of a computer.  Still, the Internet never sleeps and Sunday’s are a good time for ski mountaineering photos and the story behind them.

Baffin Island Iceberg Camp – 2002

Brad Barlage booting up the Model T couloir. Baffin Island

While watching a Mike Libecki slideshow on Big Wall climbing in Baffin Island, I kept catching glimpses of tasty looking couloirs in the background of scenic photos and wondered if they were skiable.  As it turned out, most of the descents off of the huge vertical walls were by walking/sliding down nearby couloirs.  When I asked another skier/climber who had been to Baffin how many of these couloirs there were in the area, he said “Oh God! Hundreds!”  That was all the info needed to start planning a trip to the area.

In 2002, Brad Barlage and I spent four weeks in the Sam Ford Fjord area of Baffin Island doing some of the best skiing of our lives.  In this photo, we had moved camp to an area with 3-4 chutes in it and found a melted out iceberg which had drifted over from Greenland.  It’s good to camp near icebergs as they are a source of clean water for melting, but in this case, we were worried about an avalanche coming down the couloir and nailing the berg like a perfect catcher’s mitt, burying us in the process.

In the end, it was just too cool a campsite to pass up and the snow was stable enough that we spent two nights camped there.  At one point, some of the berg itself calved off and almost hit Brad, but aside from that, it was excellent.

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Category: Sunday Photo

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

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