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CYXP - Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Canada Print E-mail

Pangirtung residents with C-GOLJIn Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit, Pangnirtung (or Panniqtuuq) means "place of the bull caribou".  The community is a main attraction for tourists to the south Baffin area.  It is located at the western entrance to the spectacular Auyuittuq National Park.

If you've seen the open sequence to the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me", you've had a glimpse of Mt. Asgard. The flat-topped peak is on of the many wonderful sights in the park.  A trip through Akshayuk Pass by air on a clear day can be breathtaking. Here's a great couple of photos of one such trip. Hundreds have also enjoyed the multi-day hike through the Pass. A number of the peaks are also favoured by climbers.



Mt Asgard

In addition to the park, Pangnirtung is also home to world-class Inuit art, including carving, printmaking and a unique tapestry workshop.  Cumberland Sound fisheries catches and processes excellent Arctic Char and turbot.

The community was originally the site of a 19th century whaling station.  Whaling ships from New England, Scotland and other places travelled the waters of Cumberland Sound in search of bowhead and beluga whales from about 1820 to close to the end of the century. Some of the buildings of the whaling station can still be visited in the community.

Kekerten Park a short distance up Cumberland Sound contains remnants of the whaling station there, and can be reached by boat from Pangnirtung.

Pangnirtung was also home for many years to the only medical facility in the Eastern Arctic. St. Luke's Hospital was originally built in 1930 by the Anglican Church.  It was enlarged in 1935, 1955, and 1957.  In 1972, the building was converted into the Arthur Turner Training School, which trainied Inuit as Anglican ministers for a number of years. By then, medical needs were served by the Baffin Regional Hospital in Iqaluit.

Turning final for CYXP

Flying into Pangnirtung in a small plane can be tricky, due to the narrowness of the fiord, the height of the surrounding terrain  and unpredictable wind conditions. The airstrip is in the middle of community, with a high mountain on one side, and Pangnirtung Fiord on the other.

However, don't let that put you off. If you don't want to try it yourself, the community is served by daily flights from Iqaluit on either First Air or Canadian North.

Harro Lorenz and Siegmar Sprenger ended up spending a few days in Pang on their way back to Germany in a CT-Designs ultralight.  See Harro's trip report (in German)


(photos: Rod Crocker; Suzanne Evaloardjuk)






Last Updated on Sunday, 28 August 2016 21:25
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