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Nunavut /努纳伐特之行(凡凡译) 打印


Robert Vassov
As Canadians living in the southern most reach of British Columbia, we rarely get the chance to experience the vastness of our great Country. Sure, living in the lower mainland we are blessed with scenic mountains, the ebb and flow of the ocean, and endless beautiful parks and trails. This all however is no equal comparison to the simple purity of Canada’s untouched Nunavut.

The territory of Nunavut (which means "our land") stretches some 1.9 million square kilometres and is nearly one-fifth the size of Canada and became the newest territory on April 1st, 1999. The author experienced this land during the month of August while on a gold exploration project. While the search for gold is an adventure unto its own, the discovery Nunavut land and animals will forever be etched on his soul.

Working and traveling on the tundra, one feels the sense of the urgency given by the fauna and flora. Low lying plants compete for space and nutrients growing between rocks and crevices absorbing the summer sun over a short growing season. Caribou, the tundra’s lifeblood can be found in abundance foraging in solitaire or small groups. Mothers and calves stay close together and feed continuously, irregardless of human presence which seems to stoke the Caribou’s curiosity for something new to investigate warily. Everything in Nunavut it seems has a purpose and life and death are ever present in their constant dance of survival of the fittest.

On one particular occasion, the author witnessed a tundra wolf in slow pursuit of a wounded Caribou. While working on a raised rock outcrop a limping caribous passed between he and a lake approximately 100 metres away. Not more than 30 seconds behind, the caribou’s predator stalked slowly but purposefully giving little heed to the human watching with trepidation. Soon after both were out of site and the author could only imagine what happened next. A mixture of emotions flooded the author’s soul, from fear to sympathy for the caribous’ impending doom and exhilaration from witnessing one of natures plays unfolding in front of his eyes.

At first glance the barren tundra appears lifeless and foreboding. After a period of time however, your senses begin to tune themselves to what makes the tundra a special place. The wind is always present and seems a hindrance, but soon it becomes a constant companion bringing clear crisp air unpolluted air. Breathing Nunavut air became a daily gift no matter what the weather was like.

Writing about the Tundra would not be complete without speaking about the weather. The author arrived on August 1st, and the daytime temperature would reach a balmy 18 degrees Celsius during the day. Over the course of just one month, every type of weather imaginable occurred on what seemed like a three day cycle. Gorgeous sun filled days without a cloud in the sky, overcast and constant rain, fog and mist, and a snow squall on August 25th that shut down camp and operations and flights to and from. The weather also dictated was type of bug day it would be.

When the humidity was high and the wind low you knew you were in for it. Imagine the worst bug day you have ever had. Now multiply those bugs by 50 million and place them all around you! It’s hard to believe so many bugs can exist. Sometimes it felt like you were the only blood meal on the entire tundra with no escape. Luckily, bug jackets and insect repellant offered some protection and definite necessity for anyone spending time on the tundra.

For all the hardships experienced nothing can sway the author’s opinion about the beauty and magnificence of such a breathtaking place. Each and every day brought a new landscape ever reaching to the horizon. One spectacular place of beauty is Wilberforce Falls found on the Hood River (both named by the explorer John Franklin) about 50 km before entering the Arctic Ocean. Wilberforce is a triple falls with dropping the main portion of the Hood contents 52 metres into a pool below. The remote location added to the experience as did knowing the Franklin Expedition once stood in the exact same location in the early 1800’s.

Nunavut’s splendor is something of a Canadian treasure and the author wishes everyone could visit this place at least once in their lifetime. The purity and untouched landscape has left it’s mark and the hope that others can experience the same and learn what our great Country has to offer.










Rob is my friend who comes from Winsor of Ontario, he is living now in Vancouver as a forestry counsultant. This article is based on his true experience in Nunavut.



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