The Snow Report
Welcome to the True North. Canada’s Quttinirpaaq National Park is on Ellesmere Island, way beyond the Arctic Circle, and more than 400 miles north of the country’s most northerly community, Grise Fiord. From here, you’re within a few hundred miles of the North Pole. The only way in is to charter a Twin Otter from the park’s gateway community of Resolute Bay—a cool 600 miles away.
Ski touring in Quttinirpaaq requires total self-sufficiency, and if you’re looking for powder, forget about it. Says Parks Canada: “Those who seek an alpine powder snow ski experience will not find it in Quttinirpaaq National Park. Windslab is common, snow cover is variable, and deep powder is very rare. However, if you think of ski mountaineering as an alpine adventure involving skiing, exploration, and climbing, Quttinirpaaq National Park offers unlimited possibilities. The rock is rough granite, the ice is steep and solid, and many peaks have never been climbed.”
Intrigued? Start saving your pennies: Parks Canada estimates that a one-way, four-hour flight into the park will run you $15,000.