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People & Culture

New Land Expedition: Welcoming the dogs

  • Mar 27, 2013
  • 318 words
  • 2 minutes
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New Land 2013, sponsored by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, is a 1,000-kilometre expedition across Ellesmere Island, Nunavut. This blog was written by Kyle O’Donoghue.

Given that I only learned to ski a year and a half ago, I am not so well equipped to handle overzealous Inuit Dogs. A few days ago, Toby and I took two of our dogs out for a skijor on the sea ice. Skijoring is basically cross-country skiing with a sled dog pulling you, the dog helps but doesn’t do all the work.

I was fairly nervous about the idea of tethering myself to a very energetic dog that likes to pull like mad.

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Axel, Elle and Napu are three of the dogs joining the expedition.

Scenes from Iqaluit.

The North is legendary for its hospitality, and we are experiencing it in full. Hugh, Toby and John have all spent a lot time in the North. Hugh even speaks a little of the local language. Meeka and her family have been industriously sewing patches onto all of our clothing. One day we arrived to check on the progress and found them having a snack of frozen caribou rump and fermented beluga whale oil. The meat tasted good and lets just say the fermented oil is an acquired taste.

The team has also been helped out by the polar adventuring McNair-Landry family, who are always ready to give advice and let us use their workshop for gear modifications.

We all getting along great and happily continue to gain weight. On Saturday morning, morning Toby cooked up a super hash of leftover pasta, bacon, corned beef hash, butter, leftover nachos… all topped with cheese and eggs.

This blog was originally published on

The New Land 2013 expedition meets the dogs that will accompany the expedition.

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