The Auyuittuq National Park (English Auyuittuq National Park of Canada, French Parc national du Canada Auyuittuq ) lies on the Cumberland Peninsula in the southeast part of Baffin Island and is approximately 20,500 square kilometers, the fifth largest of the more than 40 national parks in Canada. The legal requirements for the gradual development of the national parks were created in 1972 and the park opened in 1976; the final status as a national park of the territory of Nunavut (Canada) was enshrined in the Canadian National Parks Ordinance of 19 February 2001.


Geologically, the Auyuittuq National Park of testimonies of three billion years previous section of the Earth's history marked - from a rugged bedrock landscape of Precambrian Canadian Shield, some over 2,000 meters vertically ascending, often with characteristic tabular summits crowned granite cliffs and wide trough valleys. Once this primary rocks of oceanic sedimentary rock was covered, but has the Laurentide ice sheet swept the sediments as it retreated about 10,000 years ago and eroded the granite rocks.

Three Lakes National Park - Crater Lake, Summit Lake and Windy Lake - emerged only around 100 years ago, when the retreat of glaciers from gravel and rubble mountains natural dams formed, the accumulated melt water.


The Auyuittuq National Park is situated in its southern part between the two Inuit settlements Pangnirtung ( Panniqtuuq ) and Qikiqtarjuaq from the Arctic Circle about 125 kilometers to the northeast. To the north it extends from the Arctic Circle (66 ° 33 '30'' north latitude ) around 220 kilometers to the Home Bay. Its area is about 20,500 square kilometers and is covered to a quarter of the hard to reach Penny ice cap ( " Penny Ice Cap "). This places 2,100 meters high glacier area has an ice thickness of up to 300 meters and is a relic of the Laurentide ice sheet, ie Ice Age glaciation. As the ice cap for thousands of years in all seasons gives the country its character, the Inuit called it " Auyuittuq ", " land that never melts ".

Akshayuk Pass

In the southeast part of the National Park a glacial trough- shaped valley extends across the Cumberland Peninsula, the Akshayuk Pass (formerly " Pangnirtung Pass " ), on which numerous, strewn with boulders glacier tongues hanging steep downhill. The located in the southeast of the Penny ice cap beneath the glacier zone extending nearly 100 kilometers long, used to traverse the park path connects the Davis Strait to the Cumberland Sound.

At almost 500 meters above sea level. inst located Akshayuk - pass ( 66 ° 38 ' N / 65 ° 10' W) is located approximately nine kilometers long and up to 1.5 km wide, Summit Lake, catch basin of glacial waters with summer bright blue-green, often partly by floating ice covered surface ( its coloration is caused by refraction of light in the sediment -laden meltwater ). The glacier lake water flow in the north- east over the Owl River, in the southwest over the Weasel River into the Arctic Ocean.

North of Summit Lake dominates the characteristic two-cylinder tower silhouette of Mount Asgard from surrounding glaciers 2,015 meters into the air.

The Summit Lake is at its northeast end directly into the almost 5 kilometers long and up almost 2 km wide Glacier Lake. Meanwhile glacier water feed the Owl River, which flows from here northwards and at the north entrance pours some 45 kilometers to the Akshayuk pass with a two -mile-wide delta in the North Pangnirtung Fiord. The frequent occurrence of Snowy Owls in rich lemmings years has given the river its name; However, visiting tour -goers this side of the pass less often than its southern side, which is why the valley is characterized by even greater loneliness.

The south-west of Summit Lake flows out of the Weasel River; it flows through magnificent mountain scenery in around 35 kilometers away, Pangnirtung Fjord, a tributary of the Cumberland Sound. Downstream show deeply incised valleys with glaciers and moraines raised. Furthermore rise varied colored rock walls, over snowed mountain ridges and perpendicular to the sky -facing mountain peaks, almost all named after the old Germanic gods. On the south side of the Weasel River rises by about 9 kilometers of the 1,675 meter high Mount Thor almost vertically above the river valley; he is one of the highest cliffs in the world ( 1,000 meters cliff height). 6 km downstream remains on the north side of Little Windy Lake, and after a further 3 kilometers, the Qijuttaaqanngittuq Valley with its two lakes and 660 meters deep plunging Schwartzbach waterfalls are visible. On the other side of the river of the Bear's Paw Glacier ( "Bear Paw glacier " ) holds the Tirokwa lace clutching. Another 3 miles downstream pours the circular, blue-green Crater Lake in the Weasel River. After an additional 12 kilometers widens the trough-shaped valley, and the Weasel River reaches the Pangnirtung Fiord, which has a tidal range of 10 meters there. Here the southern access to the Akshajuk Pass lies with the 1,490 meter high Mount Overlord as an imposing landmark.

Climatic conditions

On the Cumberland Peninsula prevails polar maritime climate, what long means cold winters and short, cool summers. The warmest month is July with average maximum temperatures of 10 ° C. The month of January as the coldest month has an average maximum temperatures of about -23 ° C. Rainfall is very low, although the late summer is cloudy. Weather changes occur suddenly and without warning. By the trough-shaped valley of the Akshayuk Pass usually blows a relatively strong breeze.


1585 John Davis explored the Baffin Island and mapped for the first time the Cumberland Peninsula. Although the Inuit in the 17th century had first contacts with European whalers and fur traders, it was only in the 19th century in the course of commercial whaling brought the Inuit with alcohol and especially with diseases in touch to dramatic changes than English and Scots, against which they had no immunity. So noted in 1858 the explorer William Penny, after the ice cap is named that the Inuit population of Südbaffin region has shrunk within a decade from about 1,000 to 350 people.

In 1977, was filmed in the vicinity of Mount Asgard on the slopes of the ice cap of the stunt in which a double for Roger Moore as James Bond 007 in "The Spy Who Loved Me " ("The Spy Who Loved Me" ) with skis on a parachute a hilltop skips.


On moraines, lateral moraines, Eskern and other glaciers reasons soil particles have over time formed, and so can be found in sheltered, ice-free zones not only lichens and mosses, but also cushion plants from stem Losem campion, some stone crushing plants, Arctic poppy and mountain avens. In windblown sand corners find tufts of grass and low shrubs such as dwarf birch, willow plants and heather family make ends meet. Section provided with the usual tundra soils of the fjords and bays along the coast line of Davis Street thrives almost the entire Arctic Flora and sometimes even the one or other rare species such as the white-flowering subspecies of dwarf willow. A total of 112 higher flowering plant species, 129 species of mosses and lichens in 97 different Auyuittuq National Park were previously cataloged.


The sparse vegetation inside the park limits the number of occurring in Auyuittuq National Park kinds of land mammals and their population density. So you can find here lemmings, arctic hare, arctic hares, stoats, weasels, ground squirrels ( Spermophilus ), red foxes, arctic foxes, caribou Barren Land (very rare).

Between June and August, a total of 28 occurring regularly here bird species have been observed, including raptors such as gyrfalcon and peregrine falcons, water birds such as glaucous gulls, eider ducks and Canada geese, moreover, ptarmigan, snowy owls, Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings and Water Pipit.

The coastal waters of the National Park are rich in marine mammals. Here come bearded seals, ringed seals, harp seals and walruses, Greenland whales, narwhals and belugas and last but not least - especially in late summer - polar bears. Of fish are found in fjords where the Davis Strait, especially lake trout.


For the Akshajuk Pass as the best tour time on skis or snowmobile late spring, when the maximum cold has passed. Hikes are recommended from mid-July to late August. It should be noted that access to the north side of Qikiqtarjuaq of freezes earlier and later breaks up as the gateway to the south of Pangnirtung from. Parks Canada has set up shelters in a day's march intervals.

Pictures of Auyuittuq-Nationalpark