A very rare sight to see an airlift this time of year of a mother and cub polar bear out to the ice pack. The immense amount of snow has even made travel for polar bears difficult. Mothers and cubs can emerge from their dens in March though most families are spotted further east around Wapusk National Park. This polar bear family ended up somewhat stranded in Wapusk Adventures sled – dog yard instead. Quite the happenings in Churchill this time of year!
The silver lining of the 2017 Churchill blizzard is the incredible scenery created to enhance northern lights and landscape images around the region. This majestic aurora borealis shot by Corbin Hawkins is a stunning scenic portrayal of the north at its finest. Enjoy!
Rhonda Miller was driving to work in Edzo, N.W.T last Friday when she thought maybe she was still asleep and dreaming. Maybe, she thought, she needed another cup of coffee to explain what she was seeing up on the road ahead. She surely never expected what she eventually saw.
Miller thought there was a man walking along the road. “I thought that was strange because you don’t normally see people walking on the road that far out,” Miller stated.
“I slowed down a bit and I got closer. I thought it was a bear, and I thought, it can’t be a bear because it was the wrong time of year.” She suddenly spotted another animal and realized she was racing along the road with two black wolves.
“I was so struck by the size of their heads and their jaws.”
Miller recorded the wolves thinking the whole time that this was the only way anyone would believe what she witnessed. She described their frantic gait as “flat out”.
“When I got to school, I shared it with the teachers and kids,” Miller said. “Everybody was just amazed. I think just the power of them and the beauty of them, seeing them running like that, flat out, is pretty inspiring.”
Race organizers have made the decision to cancel the 2017 Hudson Bay Quest dogsled race due to the recent blizzard that buried the Churchill and Gillam regions this past week. The race was scheduled to depart Gillam this Friday, St. Patrick’s Day, and finish in Churchill.
Unsafe conditions are the main reasons for deciding to scrap the race this year as deep packed and drifting snow have blanketed the course and inhibited train service from Thompson to Churchill while track sections are being cleared. The train transports supplies as well as mushers and their dog teams to the race and serves as a lifeline to the south.
Just recently the Town of Churchill declared a State of Emergency, allocating resources toward snow removal and dealing with the aftermath of a storm that necessitated the Churchill community businesses to shut down for three full days last week. The race will be missed for sure, however the safety of the mushing teams and all support staff out on the trail between Gillam and Churchill is of prime importance.
Here is the official statement from the HBQ organizing committee: “While many sled dog races have cancelled due to lack of snow, we have wiped the smug looks off our faces now that we ultimately have too much snow. The Organizing Committee for the 2017 HBQ wishes everyone a safe and productive year as we navigate through this experience, and begin our planning for the 2018 Hudson Bay Quest.”
We look forward to the 2018 Hudson Bay Quest, back even stronger than before!