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Fatbiking and picking in the Nunavik tundra

Fatbike et cueillette dans la toundra

Photos and Text by Olivier Paradis and Marie-Andrée Fortin


End of summer in the tundra. We're slowly making our way to Lake Ujarasujjulik, locally known as Lake Barnoin, for reasons you can probably guess. The people from the village mainly go there to fish, with a few cabins nicely set up, overlooking the lake. We've just ridden the dozen kilometers separating us from the small Inuit community where we reside.

This is as far as we can go, one of the only roads that connects the village to... To what? A fish-rich lake? The tundra? A few old metal shacks? Or perhaps to nothing at all! To get to the neighboring village, one must take a plane.

In short, these roads leading nowhere, in our eyes, are superb bike trails. A river to cross, some nice climbs, tight curves in steep descents, and countless shimmering lakes.

The tundra, for those who have tamed it, also holds many treasures. Dare to brave the mosquitoes, and you'll be rewarded with gargantuan patches of blueberries, thousands of black crowberries, juicy cloudberry, not to mention those huge boletes left as counter. When you're not walking on ripe small fruits, you're stepping on Labrador tea. The lakes are brimming with trembling trout. Ungava Bay and the rivers flowing into it are overflowing with Arctic char. Hundreds of ptarmigans perched in dwarf birches. Giant hares, motionless, thinking they're invisible. The Inuit territory is a true pantry.

We ride, we stop, we pick, and we gorge ourselves on small berries, and with hands stained with blueberry juice, we hit the road again.

The weather is good.


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