Ellesmere - Ad Astra Hike
Quttinirpaaq National Park is Canada’s most-northerly park. Situated on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island, it is less than 500 miles from the North Pole. This is a vast land with fiords, mountains, glaciers, high arctic tundra, glacial streams, and one of the largest and deepest lakes in the Arctic. In places, we hike through fields of wildflowers and lichens. A strange "thermal oasis" at Lake Hazen, in the centre of the park, results in increased vegetation to support a higher density of wildlife. Muskoxen, arctic foxes and wolves, rare Peary caribou, herds of huge, white Arctic hares, and even polar bears, share the route. Humans are so rare that when you encounter the local wildlife they do not react in fear.
Over the last 4500 years, small groups of Dorset, and Thule people - in a series of epic migrations - traveled through the area to reach northern Greenland. Today the area is still so remote that only a handful of intrepid adventurers explore the park each year.
Our expedition begins at Tanquary Fiord, and ascends wide river valleys - past alpine lakes and into the high mountains to view the spectacular Air Force and Fiala Glaciers. The Ad Astra Trek is one of the most-unique expeditions on earth for the seasoned hiker with a reasonable level of fitness.
"What an amazing place! The solitude and peace of the high arctic is a tonic for the soul." Ian, Alberta, Canada
Recommended Skill Level And Dates
Guides 5:1 ratio
• 15 nights of camping
• hotel accommodation and restaurant meals at South Camp Inn in Resolute (Day 1 dinner, overnight, Day 2 breakfast, Day 16 dinner, overnight)
• excellent trail meals and snacks from Day 2 lunch to Day 16 lunch
• tents: free-standing, custom expedition dome tents - 2 per tent
• "kitchen": tarp, cooking stoves, utensils, dishes, etc.
• containers for food and group equipment
• first aid, safety, river crossing, and repair kits
• communications equipment (satellite phone)
• charter flight from Resolute Bay to Ellesmere Island and return - Days 1 and 16
• transportation of guides, group gear, food, etc. to Resolute
Trip Rendezvous Point: Resolute, NU