We are just back from an incredible 4 week expedition to the remote north east fiords at 71 degrees north on Baffin Island. Accessing the fiords involved 2 flights from Ottawa up to Clyde River and then a 15 hour ride on a komatic (wooden sled) pulled behind a snow machine. During this period myself and 3 friends spent just over 3 weeks exploring deep into Gibbs fiord looking for steep lines to ski. The weather was continually changeable and we experienced everything from Polar cold and Arctic blizzards to Sahara heat! In total we climbed and skied 19 lines up to 1300 m high, of this 18 are first known descents and 1 was probably a first repeat. The wind also allowed us to use kites to travel up and down the fiords very successfully. This year the unsettled weather provided incredible powder snow in the couloirs which is perhaps atypical for the Arctic which usually has low precipitation over the winter months.
We all used Lenz heat socks 1.0 with RCB1800 batteries throughout the trip. These were amazing and I wore my most days with the heat setting on minimum and found them great to keep the cold at bay when initially getting into cold boots initially and also when my ski boots were cranked tight for skiing. On my previous expedition to Baffin in 2014 I had to wear neoprene overboots most of the time and even then my feet were a continuous worry. They were often uncomfortable cold and I came away with some damage. This time I only wore neoprene overboots on one day and my team mates never used neoprene overboots while out skiing. It was luxury not having the worry about my feet! At night we would recharge our RCB 1800 batteries from solar systems so they were ready to go in the morning. I had a Goal Zero 100 Whr battery which would recharge my sock batteries several times before requiring to be recharged via solar panels itself.
If I was doing a trip like this again I’d take more pairs of heat socks so I change into fresh socks after 4 or 5 days on! Overall a brilliant piece of equipment that worked flawlessly and contributed enormously to the comfort and success of the expedition.
Thanks to all the team at Lenz for their support and great service.