The Fan Hitch Volume 2, Number 1  November 1999

Table of Contents

Editorial:  Looking to the Year 2000
Report: The North Baffin Quest
Project: Impress Your Dog
Behavioral Notebook: Tiri's Magic Carpet
ISD News from Norway
Feeding Tips
In My Humble Opinion: Cause and Effect
Janice Howls: The Spitz Group
Featured Inuit Dog Owner: Jim Ryder
Hudson's Bay Adventure
Book Review: Running North

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

ISDI home page

Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor-in-Chief: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
Print Edition: Imaged and distributed by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School, Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

Print subscriptions: in Canada $20.00, in USA $23.00, elsewhere $32.00 per year, postage included. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Make checks payable in Canadian dollars only to "Mark Brazeau", and send to Mark Brazeau, Box 151 Kangiqsualujjuaq QC J0M 1N0 Canada. (Back issues are also available. Contact Sue Hamilton.)

The Fan Hitch
welcomes your letters, stories, comments and suggestions. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

Contents of The Fan Hitch are protected by international copyright laws. No photo, drawing or text may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Webmasters please note: written consent is necessary before linking this site to yours! Please forward requests to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Rd., Harwinton, Connecticut  06791, USA or

The Inuit Sled Dog International

The Inuit Sled Dog International (ISDI) is a consortium of enthusiasts whose goal is the preservation of this ancient arctic breed in its purest form as a working dog. The ISDI's efforts are concentrated on restoring the pure Inuit Dog to its native habitat. The ISDI's coordinators welcome to your comments and questions.

ISDI Coordinator Canada:
Geneviève Montcombroux, Box 206, Inwood, MB R0C 1P0;
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791,

North Baffin Quest
by Sue Hamilton

As a way of celebrating the creation of Nunavut, this past April there was held a dog sledge competition of sorts, dubbed the North Baffin Quest.  Fifteen teams, some of which came (and returned home) under their own power from Pond Inlet and Clyde River, entered the 276 mile race begun in Arctic Bay. The route took them south down the length of Admiralty Inlet, then overland near the top of Baffin Island, across Fury and Hecla Strait and ended about 8 days later in the community of Igloolik.  Run in the traditional manner and in the fan hitch, this was not a race in the sense most of us are familiar with.  The event was beautifully chronicled (including some spectacular photos) by former sled dog racer/owner, professional photogrpher and freelance writer Lee Narraway in the Summer 1999 issue of Above & Beyond magazine. 

While the ISDI was not able to obtain permission to reproduce this article for you, Lee did tell me she would consider writing a story on the subject for the Fan Hitch.  We sure hope she will be able to find time in her very busy globetrotting schedule.  For those of you who wish to read Lee’s article, you might try contacting the folks at Above & Beyond to see if they have any extra copies of the summer 1999 issue. You can reach them at P.O. Box 13142, Kanata, Ontario  K2K 1X3, CANADA. 

Editor’s notes: 
The map of Baffin Island included here belies the rugged nature of the region and tells you nothing about the conditions that some of the participants may have had to endure just getting to the starting line.  By this time of the year there is very nearly 24 hours daylight and the temperatures may not dip to those of wintertime darkness.  However, the bright sun can soften the snow, making surfaces more difficult to traverse.  There can be lots of heavy ice fog and blizzards are still a possibility.  While it is not likely that there will be leads to cross, there will still be lots of pressure ridges and rough ice to navigate over and around. The transitions from frozen sea to shore can be exceptionally difficult, especially where there are substantial changes in sea level at high and low tide.  Dangerous cracks may be hidden due to blowing snow and other reasons for poor visibility.  Weather conditions may be responsible for poor hunting opportunities and dogs may not be able to be fed as well as their owners would like.  And then there are the bears.   While they may not present the physical hazard one might expect, it is important to consider that many of the participants were licensed guides who may have given up the lucrative (outsiders pay about $10,000 for up to 10 days out on the ice to hunt bear) opportunity to take out a hunter from the south out on a hunt just to participate in this first of its kind event. 

Return to top of page