by John Huston
Today we left sea level in Trold Fjord and ascended up a rocky, tight river gully to a height of land or a watershed where we are now camped.
We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. We read about it in Sverdrup’s book, New Land, and his diaries as well. And we found the day to be a lot easier than the book depicted, but not the diaries. So we think there is some embellishment going on in the book to some degree.
Anyway we called our little river gully, which was steep-sided and narrow about 40 to 30 feet across most places with steep walls, we called it The Gut. It was full of rabbit poop. Toby said he never thought he’d be skiing over a bed of rabbit poop. That’s what he did and the rest of the team did all day.
It was a fun day. It’s really fun to be on land and off the sea ice. We saw lots of rabbit tracks, Arctic fox tracks, wolf tracks, and our dogs did really, really well, getting us up sooner than we thought we’d be able to get up.
In camp we have two wolves checking us out from the horizon. We saw an Arctic fox. We also saw a small herd of musk ox on one of the outlying hills. We’re excited to be half way through Sverdrup’s connection to the northern part of Ellesmere, which was a big unknown in his day. It’s fun for us to imagine how they went about it making the route decisions basically on a blank slate. We had a good day, one of the highlights of the trip so far. And we hope you had a good day, too. Thanks a lot, bye.
Daily Expedition Data
Date: 4/18/13, Day 19
Location: N78°39', W84°16'
Traveled: 7 hours, 8.8 miles
Temperatures: 4°F am, -18°F pm