Iceberg alley, Qikiktarjuaq, Nunavut. Spring 2018. -30c
Raw, stark, piercing beauty. This is the frozen bay affectionately known as iceberg alley, where broken fragments from Greenland's glaciers drift in during the summer, and freeze in place during the winter
“It was beautiful. But it was a beauty that ripped you open and scoured you clean so that you were left helpless and exposed" - Eowyn Ivey
As incredible as these formations are, their power lies in their impermanence. The towering monuments which I've gotten to know will melt, move, and break apart little by little each day. They will perhaps be replaced by new ones carried in by the summer currents.
Or perhaps they won't. There's no telling what this bay will look like in a year's time. It is an environment in constant flux, in perpetual motion.
These shots will never happen for me again. But this is iceberg alley as I'll remember it. This is the sight which sucked the cold air right out of my lungs.
Did I mention there are polar bears here? The combination of bears with bergs was too enticing a prospect to pass up, and I found myself in a campsite on the frozen ice without a moments hesitation. The Ice Collection contains several of these incredible scenes.
But we would be utterly hopeless out there without our Inuit scouts and guides.
Survival in the Arctic is a skill learned over a lifetime. Humans just weren't made for these conditions. Let alone finding a bear in the vast white nothingness. Like finding a needle in a haystack in a thousand acre field of haystacks, all covered in snow. But find bears they did. Full days of scouting and tracking with intense concentration and determination. That and a deep understanding of bear behavior. Their companionship, rich humour, and thrilling stories from a lifetime spent on the edge of the world were as much a part of the experience as the bears themselves.
I'd have nothing to show without this lot, so here's to the Men of the High North - Jay Moesesie, Noah Keeyootak, Jay Aliqatuqtuq, and Jonathan Keyokik.
I'll see you again real soon.