Pro Skier and BASE Jumper Ted Davenport is currently on a month-long Ski-BASE expedition on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. You can follow the expedition at http://baffinbase.com/blog. Here, the Aspen resident checks in with a report from the trip—
It’s been a week since we arrived at the Sam Ford Fjord, on Baffin Island. After a short stay in Clyde River, we embarked on a 7 hour snowmobile ride ending at the base of Kyguti wall. We established our camp, which consists of 14 personal tents and 2 Mountain Hardware Space Station team tents. Our base camp is quite an impressive feat, with six-foot high snow walls wrapping around all the tents, protecting us from the gale-force winds that rip up the fjord at night. Day two was plagued by inclement weather, so we took the opportunity to organize the base camp further and essentially made our home for the next month.
On day three we awoke to perfect weather, finally getting a view of this amazing place. The good weather also meant it was time to jump. Splitting up into three groups, we headed up to the top of Kyguti, taking just over three hours breaking trail. This cliff is one big overhung wall, perfect for a first jump in Baffin. Ted Rudd, tracking legend from New Zealand, and I had an excellent two-way, kicking off an incredible adventure in BASEland. Since then the weather has been on and off, sunny then cloudy, calm then windy. We’ve all adapted to the conditions of our environment, with multiple jumps already taking place.
So far I’ve done three jumps off Kyguti, warming up the legs and getting the big-wall tracking skills back (its been three whole months!) Today a team went to the infamous Chinese wall, a 5100’ beast. They all came back with big smiles, telling tales of a cliff face that never ends. I opted to do a solo climb and jump off Kyguti, hitting the far left side and tracking down the west ridge. It was super cool to solo this one, having time to reflect just how lucky I am to be here. I’ve also spotted many speedflight lines and also a ski-BASE that is nothing short of OMFG!
The next day a group of 16 headed out for Ottawa Peak. After about a four hour climb, we were at the summit of a 4200’ wall. I went for the high exit, out tracking a snowy ledge at about 10sec. My reward for going first was to watch 15 more jumpers flying across the sky, truly a sight to see.