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  Field Notes From
Muskoxen



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Norbert Rosing

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From Author/Photographer

Norbert Rosing



In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photograph by Norbert Rosing
 

Norbert Rosing On Assignment On Assignment
Muskoxen

Field Notes From Author/Photographer
Norbert Rosing
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It seems that the tundra on Victoria Island is totally devoid of any life, but it is not a wasteland. It is rich in plant and animal life and human history. The weather changes every day, every season, every year. This land and its animals have not changed over thousands of years. I felt privileged to be there long enough to witness the amazing power of these ancient-looking muskoxen. The animals, the beauty of the country, my Inuit guides, and my friend Kevin Smart made this a very special experience.

A blizzard blew in suddenly when we were out on a short tour to Mount Pelly, a mountain close to Cambridge Bay. We had planned to be there for just a few hours, so we didn’t take any food or water. We had only one sleeping bag and a tent. We got lost in a whiteout at 0F (minus 18C). We were very cold, hungry, and thirsty, and I thought we would never make it back alive. But my guide found an old snowmobile trail. The next morning we followed it back home. This taught me a valuable lesson: Never go out on the land without an Inuit guide!

I had a hard time keeping up with young Inuit on snowmobiles on the “Eskimo highway,” the regularly traveled paths across the tundra. They blasted off, going as fast as 60 miles (100 kilometers) an hour over the tundra. Trying to keep up at that speed, I couldn’t see the bumps in my path. I was scared I would hit one at high speed and end up airborne a hundred feet (30 meters) from the machine. But they were not scared at all. To them it was fun.



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