From The Armand Diaries: Sunday, April 15, 1984:
Felt fine. We took a snowmobile ride to the top of a glacier just out of town (the natives call all of them skidoos, but it was a Yamaha, I recall). Went like hell, I was leader, with my driver Jopee. Fairly steep climb, not too rough, but you had to hold on with both hands, well gloved, to bars under back seat. -30 degrees or lower.
On top of glacier, colder. Call it 55 below Celsius, plus wind factor. Say 40 below. Had to keep bare face out of wind or it hurt, despite parka hood and balaclava and wool scarf from Iceland. My legs began to hurt just above the thermal boot tops, where two pairs of trousered (heavy Harris tweed wool) and thermal underwear didn't stay down far enough. Got mild frost bite from it, but made a somewhat raw and sore band.
Splendid now on top. About 2 or 2 1/2 hours in all. Weather fine. Got to Eureka before 6, straight, smooth flight. Saw herd of musk oxen (20 of them) from fairly high up.
Eureka is a Canadian government weather station with large number of new rooms, excellent food, color satellite TV (as Grise Fiord had), large library of books. Saw lots of big arctic hares, almost entirely snow white and a wolf out our window (or shower room window), they put out food and that attracts them. Thought it was a dog, but no dogs at the base.
One of the personnel, so nice to us, as all of them were, took us in a snow cat way out of town to see a hush-hush tracking station, filled with scads of complicated electronic gear and sensitive devices that monitored any attempt to tunnel under it or tamper with door or devices, all this after we looked over their less hush-hush weather devices on the base.
Then he drove us four kilometers out over the ice to get out and look at a huge, 2 blocks long at a guess and 30? feet high, oblong iceberg frozen in the ice. Bitterly cold except in snow cat. A beard, or my moustache turns white in a few minutes from freezing breath as it hits the hairs.
The berg and scenery across the bay, really beautiful. Eureka is on west side of Ellesmere, about halfway up at 80 degrees, N. Lat (just 69 land miles and 10 degrees from North Pole).
Photo: Erik Charlton
The North Pole, Part 1