Trip to the North Pole Tuktoyaktuk
Sep 15, 2023
In the summer of August 2023, five adventurists from INUKBAG Vancouver embarked on an epic road trip that would take them from the bustling city on the Pacific coast to the remote Arctic shores of Tuktoyaktuk. Their mission? To participate in the inaugural pole volleyball tournament. But this journey was about more than just sports; it was a quest to explore the impact of climate change in the Arctic and build connections with the Inuit community. Join us as we recount this unforgettable adventure.
The Road North
Our journey began in Vancouver, where we loaded up our trusty vehicle with gear, enthusiasm, and a sense of adventure. The road stretched out before us, promising a 4,000km odyssey through British Columbia, the Yukon, and into the heart of the Arctic Circle. As we traversed British Columbia, we drove through the Rocky and Coast Mountains, winding through forests and alongside pristine lakes. The wildfires that occasionally darkened the skies served as stark reminders of the pressing issue of climate change, which would later become a significant focus of our trip. Entering the Yukon, we were treated to vast expanses of untouched wilderness. The open road and towering mountains instilled a sense of awe, reminding us of the raw power of nature. But it was also a reminder of the fragile balance that climate change threatens.
Arrival in Tuktoyaktuk
After days on the road, we finally reached our destination: End of the Road, Tuktoyaktuk, a remote Inuit community perched on the Arctic Ocean. The people of Tuktoyaktuk welcomed us with open arms, and the landscape's stark beauty left us humbled and inspired. We were ready for the polar beach volleyball tournament and to explore how climate change was affecting the Arctic. Polar Beach Volleyball and Community Support The Polar Beach volleyball tournament was a thrilling experience that united teams from far and wide. Due to the weather, the tournament had to change from the beach to the indoor sports hall, but all the locals and visitors were still happy to see it happen! Our crew, eager to participate fully in this event, entered the tournament with passion. To our delight, one of our team members found themselves on the first-place team, while two others proudly represented our crew on the third-place team. It was a testament to the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship that defined the event.
INUKBAG donated the fully recycled fabric bags for the tournament's first and second-winning teams, adding an extra layer of excitement and celebration. This act of kindness underscored the importance of supporting local communities and fostering connections.
Climate Change Exploration
Beyond the volleyball courts, our mission to explore the impact of climate change on the Arctic began in earnest. The temperature was 29°c a few days before we arrived in Tuktoyaktuk, can you imagine such hot temperatures in the Arctic? We spoke with residents who shared stories of receding ice, changing weather patterns, and the challenges these posed to their traditional way of life. It was a sobering reminder of the global issue that is climate change, and its effects on even the most remote communities.
Supporting the Community and Building Connections Our journey wasn't just about sports and climate change; it was about building connections with the Inuit community and offering our support. We extended a hand of friendship and assistance, promising to continue to explore ways we could make a meaningful impact. Looking ahead as we left Tuktoyaktuk, we carried with us memories of an incredible journey, the warm embrace of a resilient community, and a renewed commitment to addressing climate change. We hope that our adventure will serve as a catalyst for future connections and collaborations between Vancouver and the Northwest Territories. The trip was more than just a road trip and a volleyball tournament; it was a journey of discovery, connection, and a reminder of the pressing issue of climate change. As we continue our quest to support the community and explore ways to combat climate change, we look forward to forging lasting connections with the remarkable people of Tuktoyaktuk and the Inuit community in the Arctic Circle.