The Iceberg

A couple weeks ago Mike and I headed out with the snowmobiles to Cumberland Sound to scout a large iceberg that Mike had spotted from high ground. We weren't really sure if we'd be able to get there: the area was fairly unknown to us, and the ice conditions could have been anything from safe to dangerous as far as we knew. We started off cautiously, wondering whether we would ever reach the iceberg. The distance was a mystery.

After exiting Pangnirtung fiord, we met a lonely inuit on the ice with the hood of his ski-doo open. Oily chunks of toilet paper were strewn alongside the machine as the man greeted us. He assured us he was okay and would be able to get back home. We asked about the ice conditions and were told that the direction we were going was safe all around.

We could see the berg from 15 km away. On the flat ice it felt like it would never get closer. Finally, around 32 kilometers from Pangnirtung, we reached the massive iceberg. It towered perhaps 15 meters above the ice surface. There were others closer to the coast.

We circled the iceberg and took photos from every possible angle. The berg was amazing but daunting. We did not dare to get too close to it. Even icebergs stuck to the sea ice can shift, completely demolishing the ice around it. We were looking at roughly 10 % of the whole volume of it.

Stoked, we returned home. On the way we again met the lonely inuit who we had met on the way in. His snowmobile repair on the ice had been unsuccessful and he was walking. First the man reclined our offer of a ride home. He said it was good exercise. I would agree since it was a good ten-kilometer walk.