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Pack Ice in Lancaster Sound

One of the biggest difficulties that the early explorers faced when looking for the Northwest Passage was the inconsistency of the pack ice along any likely route.

One year for instance a ship would report that it sailed a particular route easily for hundreds of miles without much difficulty before getting stuck someplace and unable to proceed any further. Communications being almost non-existent meant that the next expedition would take place the next year or later. So having reported back, others would set off on the same route to find that year after only a few tens of miles they encountered consolidated pack ice as far as the eye can see. They would then set off on another potential route which may end up equally blocked or turn out to be fruitless as a route through the Arctic.

This is ice that is in Lancaster Sound though no problem to shipping as there was plenty of open water as well.

Air temp: +5º C Latitude: 74º 34' N Longitude: 88º 58' W


These are pictures from a cruise to the High Arctic in August 2010, from Resolute Bay Canada to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland.
Pictures copyright Paul Ward. Pentax digital equipment.

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