Ellesmere Island in Winter Expedition Report
March 15th - March 27th, 2022
In March of 2022, I co-led an all-new twelve-day test expedition to Ellesmere Island in Winter with fellow Nature Photographer David Gibbon. This expedition was in the planning for more than three years and was the net result of a long-time dream to try and photograph the near-mythical White Arctic Wolf in winter. The expedition was originally scheduled to run in 2020, but the COVID pandemic saw us delayed until 2022.
For those unfamiliar, Ellesmere Island is located in the far north of Nunavut in the northernmost region of Canada and is one of the most remote and isolated landmasses on earth. Very few people ever visit this far northerly island and even fewer do so in the depths of winter. Of those few that do visit the small town of Grise Fiord, even fewer will venture north outside the perimeter of the town on a winter expedition. Just to get to Grise Fiord requires not less than five flights from Ottawa, Canada - Ottawa to Iqaluit, Iqaluit to Pond Inlet, Pond Inlet to Arctic Bay, Arctic Bay to Resolute, and then finally a Twin Otter from Resolute to Grise Fiord. In Winter, flights are never certain and we were delayed a day in both Iqaluit and Resolute on our way to Grise Fiord due to poor weather and canceled flights. We always expected potential days (it is the Arctic in winter after all) and had built in some extra time for this eventuality. We actually put a dedicated charter on standby from Resolute to Grise Fiord in case of further delays but were thankfully able to use our original tickets into Grise Fiord.