It was a beautiful sunny day here in the Arctic and the four of us (from left to right: John, Ralph, me and Kirk) went to prep Lower Dumbbell Lake for the future ice fishing trips that will take place here. We wanted to prep the holes and move the shack so it was ready to go for the upcoming trips off the station.
When we got there, we had to shovel about 3ft of snow off the lakes surface. This weekend we had winds sustained at 25-30kts which blew in a lot of snow over the flat areas around base including the surface of the lakes. After shovelling away the hard as rock snow, we drilled (and by we I mean they drilled and I took pictures) the holes into the ice with an electric auger. This is the view looking down the hole...
And a bit closer this is the hole that goes down over 8ft of solid ice! The lake is only about 12ft deep so it's pretty amazing to think of how frozen it is. I don't imagine the fish are too pleased being all cramped together down there. Hello! Can you say annoying neighbours getting in your space? A fish needs room to breathe out here! Needless to say, we couldn't make it through the ice and so fishing was a no go for us this time around.
Reaching into the hole and something caught me instead! (Don't hate me because of my photogenic nature.) We decided that since it was such a beautiful day we would explore over the land a bit more by BV and to be totally honest, it was absolutely breathtaking. It always stuns me when I realize there is literally nothing for as far as the eye can see.
The splash of colour on this rock was enough to make me gravitate towards it. It's amazing to see the different mineral deposits that coat the rocks beneath the snows surface. It's almost like you're on another planet. That's how I feel sometimes!
I find this photo truly captures the essence of the Arctic. Mountains and swirls of snow coat the rocky ground beneath. The cirrus that day looked as if it was stroked across the sky with a paintbrush. Absolutely stunning.
My goal is to get my teeth as white as the snow. I crest white strip.
We couldn't stop there after we saw what was beyond the ridge, so we hopped back into the BV and drove onward and upward over the hills in the distance. Once we reached the summit, the view was postcard-esque. It seems that it all looks the same, but in person as you're walking around, the snow sparkling all around you and the tiny flecks of glitter (ice crystals) falling from the sky are enough to transport you to another world. It's magical.
The fissility of the shale beneath the snow peaked through the wind torn landscape to remind you of its rocky presence. It was all too familiar to me when I bent down to take this photo and managed to slice my knee through 3 layers of clothing! Owwwy! Being a professional (amateur) rock collector, I took some of the specimens back with me to the main station. How cool is it to say you have rocks from the top of the planet? Oh it's not that cool? Oh, my bad...
Behind me in this photograph is an inlet from the Arctic Ocean. While the snow is still here, it is blinding to the eyes and everything is masked. To me, it seems like one giant white room. It's hard to orientate yourself and don't bother using a compass - it will point south!
This is the "Love Shack." Not sure why it's called that. 100% sure I will never find out. Either way, I signed the wall and I can say I've been there.
As the sun slowly dips in the sky (signifying that it's now "Night Time") we made our way back to the main station. These trips off base are so important for morale and I know many people who don't even venture outside on a daily basis. Although we are limited to how far we can go, it's nice to break free from the walls and see more of this beautiful landscape we have here.
Until next time :)