Aupaluk and Tasiujaq Teams at Kuururjuaq Provincial Park

 

On Thursday, 23 February, NURRAIT’s Aupaluk and Tasiujaq teams boarded a flight to Kangiqsualujjuaq (George River) for an expedition into Kuururjuaq Provincial Park. Despite some delays, the teams arrived safe and sound in Kangiqsualujjuaq in the early evening, only a bit later than expected. They spent the night in Ulluriaq School, on a classroom floor. So a big thanks to Ulluriaq School for the hospitality!

 

Bright and early next morning, the teams met with their Provincial Park guides to be briefed before heading 5 hours and nearly 100km into the park’s interior to a camp where they’d spend the night. Everybody was pretty impressed by the park’s stunning landscapes! Shortly after their late afternoon arrival at camp in the park’s Qurlutuarjuq sector, everyone got to work preparing dinner. The day ended with local guides Jiri and Darryl telling ghost stories, and then it was off to bed.

 

On Saturday morning, the NURRAIT teams left camp to ski 9km to the base of Mount « Butt Crack » with their guide Olivier Paradis. From there, the Tasiujaq team hitched a snowmobile ride halfway up the mountain where they set out on snowshoes for the summit. The whole group got lost, but were quickly found by the snowmobile guides! They ate lunch at the summit by a fire, while down at the base of the mountain, the Aupaluk team was doing the same. That afternoon the Aupaluk team also made the summit of « Butt Crack » mountain on snowshoes, where the views are truly incredible! Back at camp, the evening came to a close with s’mores around the fire!

 

By Sunday morning, it was already time to make the 100km trip back to Kangiqsualujjuaq by snowmobile, but a raging blizzard delayed the departure. With the weather finally clearing a bit, the teams took the opportunity to start heading back. Everyone had a great time stopping periodically to hunt fox and ptarmigan on the way. Nearing Kangiqsualujjuaq though, they were caught by the blizzard again, but, while it certainly wasn’t much fun, everyone made it through in one piece! Back in town, teams spent the night in the school again, and some got to participate in activities put on by the Cirqniq circus school.

 

Teams were supposed to fly back to their respective communities on Monday morning, but were storm stayed in Kuujjuaq by yet another blizzard. Luckily,  Kuujjuaq team leaders were both welcoming and highly efficient in organizing the teams’ stay in Jaanimarik school that night. Team leaders Valerie and Pierre-Luc sure know how to receive guests – they made everyone feel right at home. Thanks so much to you both Valerie and Pierre-Luc!

 

Thanks to further flight delays, the NURRAIT team got to participate in the Arctic Games put on by the Jaanimarik School on Tuesday morning. Finally, everybody hopped on an afternoon flight back to their communities!