Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tracks in the Snow

When kayaking we seldom see the traces of passage made by others. Only campsites may show traces and these seldom provide much useful information about where you are or how to get back home if you're lost. Seeing tracks in the arctic snows however are much more revealing. Years ago, when one encountered sled tracks, especially after days or weeks of travel it was an occasion for great joy. Finally you'd again be back in the company of people!

The tracks in the photo above were made by snowmobiles heading from Kangirsuk up to Post Lake. Perhaps the people had gone up to meet a plane or to get some fresh water for home use. A small hut was placed on the lake each year over a hole cut in the ice. Water could be had during the winter by filling a drum on your sled and heading back to the village.

There were times in the winter when it was easy to get lost in the maze of hills or in the clouds of blowing snow. Coming across tracks would sometimes provide you with a pathway home if you knew how to read the clues.

Tomorrow we'll go down the hill and have a look at the village as it was in the early 1970's.

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