Baffin Island Couloirs : The World's Wildest Ski Trip

Ski perfect splitter couloirs between towering rocks walls with only polar bears for company!

Ski Touring Severe, Extreme

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Skiing in the middle of the line.
Skiing in the middle of the line.

Description

At 507,451 square kilometres Baffin is the World's 5th largest island but is home to only 13,000 people. The island's brutal climate (average annual temperatures at Iqaluit - the largest town on the island and the capital of Nunavut Territory - are around −9.5 °C (14.9 °F)) and its remote location north of Hudson Bay go some way to explaining its small population. Suffice to say that the island is an utterly desolate and truly wild destination, suitable only for the most skilled, experienced and adventurous ski mountaineers.

In this guidebook you'll find 6 lines, any of which would represent the highlight of a ski career. Even getting to the foot of the routes represents a significant challenge - any trip to Baffin involves flying to the tiny town of Clyde River, recruiting a local Inuit with a skidoo to drive you for 12 hours deep into the fjords, setting up a base camp and then surviving the cold and the polar bears for long enough to do some skiing. Even staying alive on Baffin Island is a challenge so climbing up and skiing down these couloirs is perhaps the greatest ski adventure in Canada.

For those of us without the skills, the determination and the courage to ski these lines, this list can at least serve as a bit of inspiration during the long summer months, and perhaps provide a goal to strive for over the course of a ski career. If you are in the elite group of skiers who might consider a trip to Baffin, consider this a starting point for your research and planning!

Routes included