What Did Kevin Get Himself Into Now?

What Did Kevin Get Himself Into Now?

This summer I was lucky enough to get a job working with Environment Canada at the world’s most northern permanently inhabited location in the World! (no, not Santa’s Palace nor Superman’s Crib, but they live close by) This location is of course Canadian Forces Station Alert, Nunavut (aka CFS Alert). Alert started out as a joint weather station between the US and Canada, now it is a military station run by the Canadian Air Force and has approximatey 100 personnel, most of which are military. The position I have is with the GAW (Global Atmosphere Watch) lab which collects data on a variety of surface and atmospheric a variables as well as pollutants.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Day Trip Out to Crystal Mountain

One of the most popular things to do up here is to take a trip out to a nearby mountain for some hiking, scenic views, and crystal hunting. Crystal Mountain (AKA Dean Hill) isn’t really a mountain, maybe by Manitoba standards. I would honestly call it a large hill, but because it is surrounded by relatively flat tundra it really sticks out! It is called Crystal Mountain because there are a lot of quartz crystals lying around on the surface of the mountain.

The smaller lump on the left is Crystal Mountain”, and the larger hill on the right is Mount Pullen. From the point where the picture was taken it is probably about a 30 minute BV ride, granted you can't go very fast over the tundra.

To get out to the mountain from Alert we have to drive an hour in a BV across the arctic tundra (nobody seems to know what the acronym BV stands for).

This is a BV. This is the one I got to ride in (Haven’t yet taken the course to drive it, but I will soon, hopefully!). The first ride was LOTS of fun, pretty bumpy as you can see it doesn’t really have much (any?) suspension. These BVs can go nearly anywhere, apparently they are also aquatic and can traverse across water. I don’t think I would be willing to try that though.

So after the hour BV ride over the tundra and through the valley between the two mountains we finally made it up to the top of Crystal Mountain. It was perfect weather for a day trip up the mountain and the scenery was awe inspiring.

It was also a pretty warm and sunny day. As you can see it was quite the struggle to keep my eyes open for this picture while the sun was glaring at me from my right. Behind me and to the left is Mount Poulin, which is much larger than Crystal Mountain but also much, much more difficult to climb up. Some hills and another mountain range (which is a few hundred kilometres away) are behind me to the right.

At first everyone was pretty excited to look around and take pictures, but pretty soon everyone forgot about the scenery. Once a few people started finding crystals everyone started to dig in to find their own and compare their loot among each other.

I took a few pictures of this happening and then started my own frantic search for some quartz crystals!

On the way back we stopped in the middle of the valley between the two mountains (hills…) and I snapped a few pictures. The people that were bored of taking pictures made snow-angels (pretty good ones too in my opinion!)


  1. How many people can fit in the BV's. They look like fun. Love the mountain picture :) Looking forward to your next blog. It must be getting a little warmer there, I hope.

  2. Hey Jean!
    About 8 can squeeze into the back comfortably and another 5 or so in the front compartment. It is getting warmer! Today it was about -2 celcius! I went for a good hike today with just my sweater on. I plan to have another post by Monday night :)