Ski-Mountaineering Baffin Island

Steep skiing success on Baffin Island for Berghaus athletes Michelle Blaydon and Ross Hewitt Returning from Arctic Circle after a their month long expedition.  Berghaus athletes Michelle Blaydon and Ross Hewitt headed home with there team after skiing a remarkable 26 lines in the remote fjords of Baffin Island.  Making theirs the most successful ever expedition of its type to the area. Team shot. Berghaus athletes ski-Mountaineering on Baffin Island

We are immensely proud of what Ross and Michelle have achieved over the course of this expedition so here’s a bit of an overview of the trip, you can also read Michelle s personal blog here on our community page. The guys were tested to their limits in temperatures of -35 degrees and each team member lost over a stone in weight hauling 100kg each from location to location. With a constant threat of polar-bear attacks, hypothermia and . Berghaus athletes ski-Mountaineering on Baffin Island Ross Hewitt comments: “It was a mind blowing trip and amazing to finally get there and be blessed with fantastic weather. Michelle, Marcus and I skied five lines on the south side of Scott Island that to our knowledge have not seen traffic.  We then moved to Gibbs Fjord and skied five more lines, including a monster 1,300m spiralling line between big walls – for me the best line and snow on the trip – and a true ‘stairway to Heaven’.  We also repeated one line on the Crosshairs couloir in Stewart Valley. Ross Hewitt adds: “A massive thanks to the Berghaus team for making this adventure possible for us.  It was a trip of a lifetime, for me certainly, and we couldn’t have achieved it without their support and product.”

A room with a view.. Berghaus athletes set up camp on Baffin island

“Then Marcus, Tom and I skied a further 13 lines in Sam Ford and Walker Arm.  Of these, 10 were repeats of established classics, one 1,400m clean line off the rock bastion of Walker Citadel is unknown to have been skied, and one line on Fjord Wall may not have been skied.  We also skied a south facing line on the spectacular buttress of spires next to Great Cross Peak, from a step at the 1,000m mark.” Michelle Blaydon comments: “My goal was to ski at least 10 lines during the expedition.  We had planned to ski an area that we thought might have been unexplored on skis and then travel 100km to ski the classic lines of the Sam Ford Fjord area.  With a solid high pressure from the time we arrived the team got busy skiing relentlessly.  Being so far north it never really got dark so we took advantage often climbing and skiing up to two lines and 2,000m a day and way past midnight.  Within two weeks, I had already achieved my goal.

Berghaus athletes ski-Mountaineering on Baffin Island

“The expedition was a little complicated in that we didn’t have any support once we were on the ice. This meant that we had to carry all equipment and supplies as we wanted to explore and have the freedom to get to different areas of the fjords.  This equipment amounted to over 100kg in weight each that we hauled on two plastic sledges tied together.  Luckily, we were able to use kites to help us travel across the ice in places.  Kiting opened up a huge opportunity for us to travel huge distances in really short time which meant we could effortlessly explore potentially new lines and rarely visited areas of the fjords as well as easily transport camp in no time. The below Infographics describes the team’s goals before  the trip

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  • Herman

    Are those green pants next years pants? I’m looking for a gore-tex ski (mountaineering) pants with pockets above the knees.

    • sfoster

      Hi, the pants you refer to are called the ‘Frendo Pant’ and they are in production for the winter 2014 season. They will be 3L GORE-TEX combined with a Schoeller fabric.

      Regards
      Steve Foster

  • Herman

    Hi Steve, thanks for that info! 3L gore-tex with schoeller fabric sounds interesting!