by John Huston
After 65 days on the ice the New Land 2013 Expedition to Ellesmere Island has come to an end. This morning at 9:45 a.m. we boarded our charter DeHavilland Twin Otter bound for Resolute and are now at the hotel in Resolute.
In total we skijored over 511 nautical miles, or roughly 608 street miles, on Ellesmere Island and Axel Heiberg Island. The ski conditions were totally awesome and the views were even better. To immerse ourselves in this land and travel through it at the beautiful pace set by sled dog and ski has been truly a special experience. We’ve fallen in love with our dogs and this landscape much in the same way that Otto Sverdrup and the men on the Second Fram Expedition did over 100 years ago.
Our wildlife encounters far exceeded our expectations. Here's the final numbers:
- We had over 60 Arctic wolf sightings
- We had 96 muskox sightings
- We saw 116 Arctic hare
- Two polar bears
- 16 seals
- And five Arctic fox
We'll spend the next week in Resolute and Iqaluit and further south in Ottawa packing up and cleaning up before flying home. So this blog will continue as before in the near term. The expedition is over, but we have tons of work to do. We have got to shuffle through all of our video and photos and lots of post-expedition processing and we have to put together the documentary film.
We'd also like to thank all of our generous sponsors and supporters. We’d like to thank the wonderful staff of the Eureka Weather Station, our home team staff and our families. Without your support this project wouldn’t be possible. So on behalf of Toby, Kyle, Hugh, Elle, Axel, Napu, Larry, and myself, thanks for following along, and we'll have some more blogs coming your way shortly.