50 days photo expedition part 3

50 days photo expedition part 3

Morten Hilmer

50 days photo expedition part 3

50 days photo expedition part 3 - This is the third video from my two month Arctic wildlife photography expedition to the Ellesmere Island chasing an old dream.

The dream about seeing and photographing the white Arctic Wolf. In this episode I have set up my tent to use it as a photo blind and hopefully this will make it possible for me to photograph the Arctic Wolf. This is a patience game between man and wolf!

It started as a dream

The idea about going on an expedition to Ellesmere Island was born a late evening where my good friend Anders Bilgram and I were looking at maps, talking about adventures and having a snaps. The next day I wrote him that I was going to Ellesmere Island to photograph the white Arctic wolf and the following day he asked if we should go together, because he had some historical interest in that area. That was basically how it all started. We had a year and a half to plan and prepare the expedition and there was a lot to do. Everything from permissions and researching to physical training, selection and testing of gear and equipment. We would be 5 weeks in the wild without any options for supplies so we could not afford anything to fail out there. Most of our clothes was from Klättermusen simply because I have a lot of great experience with the models I have used on previous trips and expeditions.

We arrived to Grise Fiord late in March and the temperatures were not as bad as we expected. After a week of preparations we took off and headed north on snowmobiles together with 3 local outfitters. The original plan was to get dropped off on the south point of Axel Heiberg Island and then walk home from there - these plans changed a lot. We quickly discovered that this land seamed almost desolated. I had expected a lot of reindeer, hares, foxes, and muskoxen but after driving for 3 days we had seen nothing. This was not a very good beginning at all.

The plan changed

We decided to cover a huge area on snow mobiles rather than a very limited area with skies and pulk. We had to find the muskoxen or the reindeer because this would be where the wolves would also be. We talked to the local hunters who suggested to make a combination of driving, staying in a hunter’s cabin and going on skies so that was what we did.

Frostbites, frustrations, and polar bears

The temperatures up here were much colder than in Grise fiord and one night we had minus 42 Celsius. Wrapped in down clothes it was not a huge problem as long as we kept moving. For the camera equipment is was a huge challenge though since it simply stopped working. The face was another problem and we all got a few frost bites - me on my nose. Besides the cold temperatures, we also had to deal with other challenges such as polar bears entering the camp. One evening when we were having dinner in the tent, we suddenly heard something outside - very very close to the tent. I jumped out without my shoes and a young polar bear was trying to drag out supplies away. I quickly scared him away with the flaregun, but we all slept a bit light after that experience.

Did my dream come true?
If my dream came true or not I can not tell. I will reveal this in a later video here on my YouTube channel so stay tuned...

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