Pond Inlet, Nunavut is a small Inuit community located on the Northern tip of Baffin Island. Situated on Eclipse sound and with the stunning Bylot Island across the water, there are few places in this world that live up to its beauty. It’s a true winter wonderland.
With a population less than 2000, events such as Nunavut Quest are very important for the community. Nunavut Quest is an epic Sled Dog race that took 10 days to complete in 2014. Nine teams (Musher & dog team) started the race in Igloolik & eight teams finished in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. The 395 kilometre trek along the forbidding arctic tundra & sea ice is guaranteed to challenge even the greatest mushers, but for all of the racers involved, it’s a way of life, it’s a passion that is deeply imbedded in their culture.
“Nunavut Quest is more than a race – it is partly a healing process for participants and supporters,” says Joe. “The trip gives the different generations an opportunity to interact with one another and revisit a bit of the traditional way of life. It reminds us of how important Inuit values and principles were passed from older generations to youth before Inuit families moved to today’s municipalities. It is also a chance for the participants to experience the connection between different generations, the land and their dogs.” (Quote from Baffinlsland.com)
In the 2014 edition of Nunavut Quest, #9 Andy Attagutaalukuttuk of Igloolik came in first at 39 hours & 54 minutes, which marked his 3rd win a row. Now that is incredibly impressive! #4 Peter Siakuluk of Hall Beach came in 2nd at a total time of 44 hours & 15 minutes, followed by #6 Michael Inuarak who finished with a time of 46 hours & 36 minutes.
Regardless of what place you come in, completing this incredibly challenging race is an accomplishment in itself and the community of Pond Inlet made sure to let every Musher know that. As they arrive, a bunch of people celebrate by picking up the musher while still on their Qamutik. It is a beautiful display of celebration and a community coming together.
Witnessing the finish line of this race is something I will never forget and never take for granted. These are the kind of moments you live for and being able to reminisce through these images just reminds me of how special of a moment that was for myself and the community.
If you would like to read more details about the race, please check out this link: BaffinIsland.com
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