Auyuittuq national park

Auyuittuq national park in Canada is home to the tallest cliff in the world

Auyuittuq National Park, found on Baffin Island in Nunavut is one of the last untouched and unexplored wildernesses left in the world. Auyuittuq offers up breathtaking scenery, stunning fjords and majestic peaks, as far as the eye can see. 

Auyuittuq's rustic landscape has some of the tallest cliffs in the Canadian Shield. The most impressive among them though, and the star attraction of the national park, would have to be Mount Thor.

Mount Thor, or more recently named Thor Peak, is both the world’s tallest, and steepest cliff. This natural wonder has an elevation of 5,495 feet and a vertical drop at over 4,000 feet. The slope is actually steeper than vertical, with a 105-degree overhang.

Looming over the Weasel River Valley, it'll come to no surprise that this gigantic mountain is no picnic to climb.

There have been over 30 attempts to scale Thor Peak and was not completed successfully until a four-person American team conquered it in 1985. The ascent took them over 30 days. 

Despite being remote, the notoriousness of the mountain makes it a popular rock climbing site. There are several designated campsites located throughout the park, as well as a campsite only a few kilometres north of the mountain's base for those who are up to the challenge. 

This climb is clearly only for the most seasoned of climbers and is a technically challenging mountain no matter which route one picks. Falling rocks are also fairly regular in the area.

Getting to the mountain in general is quite the trek off the beaten path. First you have to get a flight into Pangnirtung, usually by way of Churchill, Manitoba.

Then you must take a 30-kilometre boat ride or snowmobile ride, depending on if the fjord is frozen over, to the park entrance at the head of the Akshayuk Pass. 

From there, it's still about a 20-kilometre hike to get to the base of the mountain, crossing over many rivers and streams along the way across the valley floor. 

This rough terrain may present a challenge for the average hiker, but it's not hard to see that the breathtaking views of the expansive valley and tranquility of the remote surroundings make up for the effort. 

It's sure to be a rewarding nature experience for the traveller adventurous enough to wander this far off the beaten path. 

Lead photo by

michael.s.becker


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