Naujaat beats the odds, partially

My first telemark ski trip has almost every year been on Naujaat, a mountain that is directly across from Pangnirtung. Naujaat means seagulls in Inuktitut. A moderately smart person would at this point assume that it may be because there are seagulls around there. The moderately smart person would be correct.

The peak named after seagulls has never offered good skiing except for the not-too-steep slopes that it offers for an easy first run. It's a rocky face that is usually quite wind-swept. Whatever snow accumulates there is usually brushed off by constant winds, leaving rocks exposed.

My typical memories from Naujaat include hard face plants on crusty snow with soft or hollow snow underneath. It's got, to be honest, shitty snow plus rocks. Not the greatest of combination but better than staying home and watching TV. Skis regularly break through the inch thick crust and dive under, resulting in a harsh and unpleasant stop on the face. You have to break the snow from over the skis to get them back out again.

Well, not last weekend. At least as far as snow was concerned. While there may not have been that much snow, it was mostly powder. Last weekend we did two runs on Naujaat and both times had big smiles on our faces at the bottom. Excellent conditions despite the rather hard temperatures around -30 C!

The cold temperatures, and the lack of winds recently, may be why the snow was still loose and unconsolidated. We only had contend with the sneaky rocks covered in seagull crap that bang hard and suddenly onto your skis, carving out foot-long deep grooves and dull the egdes. And throw you on your face. That part of the classic Naujaat experience didn't fail.

Come, climate change, come. We could use a few meters of powder.

Photos feat. Kendra and Devin on the Sunday run.

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