The Fan Hitch Volume 2, Number 1  November 1999

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled

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: Sue Hamilton
              Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch Website and Publications of the Inuit Sled Dog– the quarterly Journal (retired in 2018) and PostScript – are dedicated to the aboriginal landrace traditional Inuit Sled Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. 

PostScript is published intermittently as material becomes available. Online access is free at:  PostScript welcomes your letters, stories, comments and The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

Contents of The Fan Hitch Website and its publications  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

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. 

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