Kangiqsujuaq Initiation Camp Feb 2007

The ice wall

We landed in Kangiqsujuaq late on a Monday afternoon. This time, Marc Henry, a paraski racer and a Hydro-Quebec worker based in Valleyfield, and Remi Baril, a youth health program manager, have joined me to make of this camp a kick off for the coming spring season. Since the weather was nice and windy, we got to ride across Wakeham Bay to see the 20-foot ice wall formed at low tide. more pictures...

Classes on the bay

On Wednesday, after meeting with the school teachers to organize the schedule forthe week, the kids enjoyed the video presentation of last year initiation camp, in Wakeham. Then we organized the first initiation period for the secondary students with the equipment owned by the community. Most got to ride pretty well on the narrow space behind the coop with the wind blowing at around 25km/h. We ended up riding until dawn. Adamie did perform exceptionally well. On Thursday, Julie, Nadia, Shona and James's class got to learn the basic of sail handling. We could see that those initiated last spring had not lost their touch even if the wind was going up and down between 7 to 15km/h. more pictures...

Discovering new downhill potential

On the bay, the morning period was dedicated to Arsaniq seven school's stars of the week. Although the wind wasvery light, those who came down on the bay had fun with these sails and skis. Some of them took the time to learn some basic knowledge in GPS navigation with Mark Henry. Since there was no wind on Saturday, we went out in the afternoon to explore the eastern Mountain and look for some interesting downhill runs. I have not tried that one yet with Jimmy, the unicycle guy from Salluit. We discovered a radical place, with a snow covered slope that progressively plunges in the bay like the five fingers of the hand. As you go down, the angle increases and becomes fairly steep. You can only see 100 feet in front ant 100 feet back. Half way down, and all the way to the end, the snow changes into a hard wind pack, and ends up into carved stair cases. A little too early for that one right now, better wait until spring. Mark Henry and I affectionately called this ride the triple black lozenge. As we discover Kangiqsujuaq surroundings, we believe there is a lot of potential for some dynamic outdoor activities, for local residents as well as visitors. more pictures...

In and around town

At the beginning and at the end of the day, we had the opportunity to meet with various people and discovered a dynamic community. From the traditional Kumik making clinics to the departure of the team that delivers equipment to the Pingaluit crater workers, or watching the two dog sled teams practicing on the bay, including the winning team of this year Ivakak's race. more pictures...

35Km/h wind with 50km gusts

On Sunday, the wind picked up at 10km/h and quickly reached 25km/h. This long awaited gust rapidly attracted some young local passionates such as James and Popykaqtuk who were dedicated to learn this new sport, as well as visitors such as Charlie Munick from Kangiqsualujjuuaq, and other Ungava cup participants taking a break for the morning who also had the chance to try it out. All got to feel the excitement of wind, sail power and speed runs on the large and flat bay of Wakeham. At noon, the wind increased to 35km, enough for the hunter and expert paraskier Lukasi Tukirqi who just loves it when it's windy. Carver Eze Saggiak also came down for his first try and certainly not the last. In less than one hour, he was racing down with Lukasi along the ice wall at the other end of the bay. We also had the visit of Peter Qisiq, the Kangiqsuajuaq team captain who came down for a little warm up before winning the Ungava Cup Hockey finals later in the afternoon. Up to 15 people came down to enjoy the strong wind and the cold weather that was slowly coming back. Overall, about 55 people got to train in paraski over the week. A good stimulating session to kick off the spring season in the community.more pictures...

Special Tanks to:

  • The community of Kangiqsujuaq, for their warm welcome and participation.
  • Jaaji Pilurtut for his dedication and belief in the program and continuous support.
  • The Arsanic School teachers for the proactive approach and participation.
  • Air Inuit and First Air for their support and collaboration
by Guy Laflamme