Baffin Island 2012

By TrisTransSaga


TrisTrans Baffin Island april – may 2012

Baffin Island lies in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago just west of Greenland and is the world’s fifth largest island. Named after the english explorer William Baffin, it is likely that the island was known to the vikings on Greenland. Baffin Island may be the location of Hellund (meaning something like ‘slabby rock country’ in Old Norse), spoken of in the Saga of Erik the Red.

Baffin contains all the elements that people generally associate with the arctic: midnight sun, the Aurora Borealis, expansive tundra, steep fiords, drifting pack ice, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, polar bears, caribou, walrus, etc.; it’s all here.  Baffin Island is extremely remote and cold!

We are drawn to here to experience the Arctic wilderness, the Inuit culture, and the potential to  live in a very wild setting with virtually unlimited potential for exploratory trekking and first ascents.

Our goal is to cross the Cumberland Peninsula – from West to East. This region of Baffin Island is well-known for the impressive cliffs and mountains. The most well-known landmarks are the two cylindrical towers of Mt. Asgard and the overhanging cliff face of Thor Peak. The highest point on Baffin Island is also here, and we are planning to ascend it. Most of this region is contained within Auyuittuq National Park, which is mostly covered by the Penny Ice Cap. Auyuittuq is Inuktitut for something like ‘the Land that Never Melts’, and ironically, the glaciers are melting fast and have been retreating significantly in recent decades.

Map. The location of this expedition is marked on the following map. 



Outdoor equipment:

Tristan use the following outdoor equipment during his trip on Baffin Island. Only the best is good enough for us.

Please click on each logo for general information about the products.

Our personal experiences can you find by clicking on each logo in the Flickr photo album: TrisTrans Baffin Island 2012.

NordicCab VertikalThermarestWeledaJanusMSR


The inuit culture

Jochem: ‘Ever since I was a little boy and got in touch with the native people of the Arctic, I have respected their way of living and thinking.’

Inuit origins in Canada date back at least 4,000 years.  Their culture is deeply rooted in the vast land they inhabit.  For thousands of years, Inuit closely observed the climate, landscapes, seascapes and ecological systems of their immense homeland.  Through this intimate knowledge of the land and its life forms, Inuit developed skills and technology uniquely adapted to one of the harshest and most demanding environments on earth. Inuit treated human beings, the land, animals and plants with equal respect.  Today, they continue to strive towards maintaining this harmonious relationship.  They try to use the resources of the land and sea wisely in order to preserve them for future generations.  Strict hunting traditions and rules help maintain this balance. 

Inuit culture has been exposed to many outside influences over the past century. But they managed to preserve parts of their culture. The Inuit language, traditional Inuit dance and song, oral history telling and hunting on the ice.  The Inuit people rely heavily on hunting on the ice. The damage that global warming is doing to the arctic ice, therefore, is damaging the Inuit people.

Cracking the frigid air with a sealskin whip, a Inuit hunter urges his dogs across sea ice that gets thinner and less stable each year. Out there he has always found game for his family – until now!  The problem: the ice is disappearing. Will this be the last days of the ice hunters?

Baffin Boy for Big Bears!

Polar bears are among the coolest animals on earth.  Polar bears are the most-visited animals in zoos. People of all ages are entranced by their beauty, their playfulness, and their strength. Tristan loves them. Every evening before he goes to bed – he picks out a book to read. Most often it is about polarbears or pinuings. Polar bears, after all, are a perfect focal point for teaching all kinds of things: from biology to geography, from mathematics to physics, from environmental science to cultural sociology.

But they are vulnerable!

Polar bears, considered the largest bears in the world are being affected by habitat loss, destruction and degradation of ecosystems, pollution, over-exploitation and climate change. These factors are among the powerful and persistent impacts on polar bear populations and health. The ice is melting. And the bears will need a safe place to live before it is too late.

Our additional goal is to raise awareness to ourselfes and the future generation (our children).

 1. Reduce your impact:

What can we do? Link to WWF:

2. Support:

We have to focus on the consequences of the melting ice. Conservation through research and education is important. Even more important is to create a safe environment that bears can call their home. Together we can help them!

a. An arctic home.

b. Research and education. Polar Bears International: WWF:

3. Buy a polar bear: 

Not a real bear, but a bear on a postcard. Tristan has made a really cool drawing together with mam and dad. Tristan will send you this postcard from Baffin Island. All the profit is going to the polar bears. Isn’t that cool!  In the first intance the money will go to a well established organization who works with polar bears.  Would you like to receive this original postcard in your postbox? Please contact us for more information:


Operation Baloo!

In the future ‘Baffin Boy for Big Bears’ will be a part of Operation Baloo.

The purpose of Operation Baloo is to connect people and bears. Living together on our planet!





Further reading

Would you like to read the tripreport? Please look on the BLOG: TrisTrans Baffin Island 2012.

A photo selection:

Our new blog:

Our new website: