Into The Island of Ice: Bikepacking Baffin Island

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An ‘illustrated’ video documenting a bikepacking trip over the Akshayuk Pass, a new 100 mile route across Baffin Island’s Auyuittuq National Park…

Baffin Island is the fifth-largest island in the world and has just 11,000 inhabitants, 75 percent of whom are native Inuit. The huge island sits adjacent to Greenland, and its massive Auyuittuq National Park houses the Penny Ice Cap, a chuck if ice that’s a half-mile thick, the size of Rhode Island, and the sole remnant of the last global ice age 18,000 years ago. Cutting across the park is also a 70-mile glacial valley called Akshayuk Pass (Akshayuk means “the land that never melts” in Inuktitut). This illustrated film documents the trip — also to be featured in the May issue of Bike Magazine — that took days of bike-pushing and an emergency shelter layover to pull through…

  • Bikepacking Baffin Island
  • Bikepacking Baffin Island
  • Bikepacking Baffin Island Map

Bikepacking Baffin Island

Video by Alex Frankel
Photography by Kari Medig

  • Malcolm

    In which month was this done?

  • Good question! I think we’ll have to wait until Bike Mag publishes something about it… unless one of the riders chimes in here. I was wondering the same though.

  • Malcolm

    I ask because I hiked it in 2010 and at the time thought it would make for a decent winter bike attempt based on the geography and hearing that it was a good ski route. I read a guy did it solo in April 2014 pulling a sled behind the bike a reported pushing for approximately 25% of the time. Another group did it in February 2016 and it looks like they pushed for most of the trip, like this group did.

  • Kevin Hodgson

    This is second report that I’ve read about fatbiking this exact same route. So are they the same people and this is the documentary of the trip that happened last year ?

  • Not sure. This video was just released on Sunday, snd it’s the first I’ve heard of it. They don’t specify dates in the video…

  • Will

    The ice cap on Baffin most certainly isn’t the “sole remnant of the last global ice age 18,000 years ago”. Maybe the sole remnant on Baffin Island, but certainly not the world… And the last ice age ended more recently than that, especially that far north. The last glacial maximum in New England was more like 14kya.
    Cool film though, geology/glaciology errors aside…

  • Ha. Well, I’m certainly no expert; I just keyed in that info from the film. Would you say it’s the ‘biggest remnant’ from the ice age?

  • Mike McGuire

    The previous team crossed Baffin as one leg of a multi-tour expedition. Ray Zahab, Jen Segger, and Stefano Gregoretti have run across the Sahata, Gobi and the arctic and decided to try something different with bikes. Very experienced and accomplished adventurers.

    Here is one link:
    http://arcticjournal.ca/biking-across-baffin-island/

    Mike McGuire

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