12.- The Inuit: a people at the crossroads

Grise Fiord is a grain of human sand on an immense island the size of England. Only 140 people inhabit this village which is the only settlement of Ellesmere, the northernmost insular of the Canadian Arctic. The rest is unleashed nature and implacable severity. Grise Fiord Bob Mc Donald, captain of the mounted police, told us the sad origin of the people: They survived exclusively from hunting and fishing. And today, after so much suffering,

11.- Towards the mountains without a name

On August 8 we marched up the glacier carrying the equipment on pulkas or sleds. We wanted to climb the highest peak in the area. We were in the mountains that surround the Manson polar cap, the so-called North York Land. It is a remote white territory on the map. In our plane, the space occupied a note that warned that the compass does not work well inside. North York Land We set up the

10.- A lost world

There was a movie - an adaptation of a Jules Verne story - that marked my childhood. The movie was about explorers flying over unexplored Greenland in an airship. They discovered, among other wonders, a surviving Viking community, plus a bay lost in time and mist where the whales were going to breathe their last breath.   Cape Norton Show Bay This unnamed bay exists but is not in Greenland but on the island of

9.- Weather is in charge

Everyone has a plan until it gets spoiled. I had a plan. I had been watching the ice charts, the satellite images of the Sentinel - sent and analyzed by the expert Íñigo Orue - and the charts and had observed the following: the Strait of Nares is like a bowling alley.   Iceberg in the middle of the sea The ice slides down the corridor from the North Pole and the Humboldt and Petermann

8.- Soriapaluk, a village on the border of the cold

The height of surrealism is to try to explain the descent of Celedon - culminating point of the festivities of La Blanca - to an Inuit woman who does not speak any language apart from the Inupiaq. In my disclaimer I will say that the situation came to us, as the downpours come in the afternoon of April.   Inuit family in motorboat towards Northabout. On day 1 a speed boat was presented in front

7.- Defeat in Smith Strait (Chronicle 2)

The ice chart, an indispensable tool for anyone traveling on icy seas, gave rise to some hope: even Cape Alexander, the westernmost point of Greenland, only a third of the surface of the water was covered with ice. Enough for us. So we marched through a white maze dodging icebergs thanks to the skill as helmsman of Aitor Basarrate.  Northabout in the icy sea The plan was to anchor alongside, after an unnamed island, to

6.- Defeat in Smith Strait (Chronicle 1)

They say that any polar adventure involves some kind of suffering. On July 27 we started our first major battle against ice. And we lost it. I will never forget the crash of the ice against the helmet. Runs from the beds to deck. And the long hours of hopeful and nervous glances trying to peer out into the ice maze.          Northabout in the middle of the ice Two days earlier

5.- Ghosts of the Baffin Sea

There are few experiences in life more disturbing than seeing an iceberg appear in the fog. We saw it on the third day of navigation from Upernavik to the north by the bay of Melville; Of course, it was not the first floating block of ice we came across; But this was veiled in mystery by an oleaginous haze, typical in this area of ​​the Baffin Sea. Northabout sailing into the fog The apparition had

4.- Shipwrecks and beluga carpaccio

An Inuit wedding is a strange mix between tradition and modernity. They emphasize the traditional costumes: The grooms dress old fashioned, he with white anorak and she with a colorful coat; And both in sealskin pants and boots. We were fortunate to be invited to his wedding by Nunarleq Mathaussen, a pure Inuit who married Ane, a local girl with Nordic features. "We are very happy," the groom confessed in perfect English, "because we were

3.- Quixote things and other unforeseen

People come to the Arctic in the hope of seeing new and wonderful things; To bring in his pocket money to tell that really worth it. Birds on iceberg The lucky ones attend a northern aurora, spot a formation of whales or discover the polar bear at the time of breakfast with a seal; But what is really unusual is to see is two Basques carrying on a dingui - a standard Zodiac - and