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Ascent of Chisasibi Island High Point on 2013-10-19

Climber: Eric Gilbertson

Date:Saturday, October 19, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Chisasibi Island High Point
    Location:Canada-Nunavut
    Elevation:39 ft / 11 m

Ascent Trip Report

3pm Friday Oct 18, 2013– leave Boston
1:30pm Saturday – arrive at Chisasibi after almost non-stop driving. Sightseeing in town.
4:30pm Saturday – packraft ½ mile to Island officially owned by Nunavut, camp on island
9:30am Sunday – packraft back to mainland, drive back to Boston taking 400-km gravel North Road detour
9am Monday – arrive in Boston

It turns out that Nunavut, the most remote and least-populated province in Canada, is actually accessible from Boston in a weekend of driving and packrafting! Nunavut officially owns all islands in James Bay and Hudson Bay, and after some satellite-image searching Matthew and I discovered an island only ½ mile off the coast of Quebec near the Cree village of Chisasibi. Chisasibi is connected to southern Quebec by the James Bay Road, and is a mere 21-hour drive from Boston. James Bay Road is famous as the second-longest stretch of road without services in North America (~600km long with only one gas station in the middle at km 381), and Chisasibi is at the very end of it.

Our Dad flew into town for the weekend and we left Boston Friday afternoon, rotating drivers and arriving in Chisasibi Saturday afternoon. Despite temperatures in the mid 30s F, light rain, and sleet, we set off into the Arctic Ocean in packrafts and made it to Nunavut Saturday evening. We camped on the island and paddled back to Quebec Sunday morning. On the drive back, we took the North Road, another famous long road up there. It’s 400km of gravel, probably the longest gravel road outside of Alaska and Yukon. Somehow we managed to get back to Boston at 9am Monday, just in time to return the car a day early, and for Matthew to catch his 11am class.
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