First Official Day of Pulking

March 19 – After the RCMP escorted the bags we are sending down to Pang (e.g., extra clothes, books, and misc. stuff for the plane home), we packed up our pulks and gear onto Billy’s komatek sled. Our friend “Pete” the dog joined us down on the ice to send us off. We enjoyed a 3-hour bumpy, but amazing, snowmobile ride to the entrance of the pass. About 15 miles before reaching our drop-off point Billy noticed a fresh set of polar bear tracks, along with the tracks of two cubs, heading into the pass. Although this is rare for this time of year, Billy told us that bears often den up in the mountains of the pass with their young before heading out to the pack ice for seal hunting. Per Billy’s request, we spent the night in the North Pang safety shelter due to the tracks leading our way.

March 20 – We woke up at 6:30 this morning, packed up the pulks (an hour task), put on our skis, and headed out. With the pulks being on the small side, and HEAVY, we encountered miles of hard snowdrifts, rock gardens, and heaved-up ice near the streams. Two words come to mind: BEAUTIFULLY DIFFICULT. Our main problem today was that the pulks tipped not once, not twice, but probably somewhere around 143 times or so. If the other person isn’t right next to you, a tipped pulk means that you take off your backpack, remove your harness, turn around on your skis, tip the pulk back over, ski back to the front, re-harness up, and put your pack back on. Fun stuff! We are trying some new gear/harness/pulk combinations tomorrow and will report back. Thanks for following along! Its been a bumpy start (literally), but it’s only going to get better!


  1. Mom
    Mar 21, 2010

    Hoping for a better day of travel for you both. …….you can do it!!!! Proud of the both of you!

  2. Heather
    Mar 21, 2010

    Looks like you guys are having a good time. Can’t wait to hear about it when you get back! Good luck and hope you don’t run into any Polar Bears (well maybe if they are at a distance it will be OK).

  3. Aunt Linda
    Mar 21, 2010

    I’ve really enjoyed following your adventure….I look forward to reading your daily update. I am anxious to see more pics. Keep safe and enjoy!!

  4. Joel D
    Mar 21, 2010

    Really enjoyed the teacher interviews and to hear their story! Looks like the beard is filling in nicely Dr. Miller. Safe travels.

  5. Chris
    Mar 22, 2010

    Great pictures guys! I’m sure it is only a matter of time until you have figured out a system with the pulks.

  6. David Nagorney
    Mar 22, 2010

    AD, Why a red parka? Bait or are polar bears color blind? Keep on trekking. Great interaction with the students. Nag

  7. Roc Fu-Lung Lin
    Mar 23, 2010

    Bon voyage!