Welcome to Baffin Island 2002 photo portfolio.
The following 100 images represent one of the best trips I have ever been on. From mid April to mid May of 2002, Brad Barlage and I went up to Baffin Island (far northeastern corner of Canada, above the Arctic Circle) to explore the ski mountaineering potential of the legendary eastern fjords. It was a highly experimental trip, as we were going into an area that few people have ever visited, let alone skied in. To further the commitment, we planned on using lightweight NASA wing kites to move around on the ice. As these kites are capable of high speeds, we also built sleds that could handle our heavy loads, track well at speed and step over the rough sea ice. These sleds had to break down for shipping and had to be light enough to carry if needed. We were also going into an area that is known for its carnivorous Polar Bears, extreme cold, high winds and general remoteness. We had no idea if the winds would be strong enough to pull us across the vast distances, if the couloirs would be safe to ski, if we would be pinned down by late winter weather or any other number of unforeseen calamities.
There were many opportunities for things to go wrong.
But, this trip seemed to be charmed. We ended up traveling through five different fjords and valleys, covering 100's of kilometers with our kites and sleds, climbing and skiing 19 new couloirs and having a mix of good, and also impressively bad weather. The couloir skiing was beyond our wildest dreams. All of them were superb, with the top 10 being in a league all by themselves and representing the best skiing I have ever experienced. However, as good as skiing was, it was perhaps even eclipsed by the kiting. With 24 hours of daylight, smooth sea ice, towering rock walls lining vast fjords, random seals and strong, steady winds, it has to be one of the most exotic places on earth to practice the fledgling art of kite skiing.
The following 100 photos are the best of the 1,300 images we took. They cover the story of the trip, as well as being some of our favorite memories. These images were scanned from color slides, so the contrast, saturation and color balance isn't always representative of the original image. If you see an image you are interested in, our contact information is at the bottom of each page and we can send either the original images, higher resolution scans or duplicates.