March 19, 2009 9:22pm

Early flight out to Iqaluit today. It takes another three and a half
hours to reach Iqaluit, just at the edge of the Arctic circle. A lay
over there gives us time to make some last minute food shopping and
check the local museum which I visited last summer. It feels
comfortable to be here again, this time walking around in the dry snow.
Our flight is delayed, and I run into Paul who flew most of  our
chartered rotations last summer around Ellesmere island. It is nice to
catch up. The plane finally takes off for another three hours up north,
with a short stop in Naninsivik. These are familiar steps, retracing
the itinerary of the summer, but for one detail: when we landed in
Resolute in early july, temperatures had hit a historical high of 67F
degrees. Today, the landscape is covered with a sheet of white, and
upon walking out of the plane, the air explodes in my lungs like a shot
of adrenaline: it is minus 36F degrees! Aziz, owner of the South Camp
Inn, meets us at the airport and it is nice to see him again. Resolute
is a town of 200 people, but it is the logistics center for all
activities in the high Arctic. Aziz is an invaluable ally in this
frontier town: he has a solution for almost everything. Joining us from
the plane is an Austrian man who has traveled all the way here to shoot
a polar bear. My heart skips and my stomach turns when I realize that
he does not mean using a camera…. Inuit are allowed a limited quota of
bear kills per year. Some can be sold to outsiders for $35,000. One
man’s blessing is another man’s curse.

It has taken five planes and two days to reach this outpost in the
middle of the freezing Arctic, some 3500 miles north of Los Angeles.
Luckily, my friends at Climate Partner will offset the carbon
generated from this trip. Keith and I are excited to be here. The hotel
brings back all kinds of memories and some nostalgia. I spent over a
month in and out of here last summer, dreaming of coming back to try
the Pole. We are here now!

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