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Synopsis

The author spent four months in Baffin Island during 1953 as zoologist on a big expedition by the Arctic Institute of North America, where he concentrated on studying birds and mammals. With Inuit hunter Samo he travelled by dog-sledge on the sea-ice of coast and fjord. Afterwards he crossed the mountains alone in deep snow to reach the site of his summer camp in a valley among some of the most spectacular peaks in the world. There he worked for most of the summer, usually alone. The valley and others nearby were and still are uninhabited, and expedition members trod many places which had not been under human foot in recent centuries. His book is of special interest because of the many changes since, with the Inuit now mostly in towns with modern facilities and airports, and using motor sledges for hunting. The author writes of many exciting days studying arctic animals, sometimes working with Swiss botanist Fritz Schwarzenbach and others, and walking with heavy loads, sometimes in risky conditions. The beauty of the Arctic inspired and energised him. He writes vividly about the magnificent landscape, the 24-hour daylight, the endless variety of weather, snow and ice, the wonderful plants and animals in the brief summer of the far north.

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