Located in Canada's massive Arctic island of Baffin is Mount Thor. Mount Thor is an appropriate name for what is considered the highest cliff or vertical drop on Earth. Despite its incredible remoteness, it is popular as a rock climbing site. Mount Thor is located in the dramatic Auyuittuq National Park in Nunavut and plummets over 4,000 feet in a vertical drop.
If one thought that Yosemite's Half Dome is difficult to climb, wait until one sees Canada's, Mount Thor. The Arctic regions of North America are largely unexplored, but they are also some of the most dramatic. Just as some of the most dramatic landscapes of the United States are hidden away in remote national parks in Alaska, so too are some of Canada's most dramatic landscapes in the remote Canadian territories.
Mount Thor - The Largest Cliff In The World
Mount Thor is the largest cliff in the world and a magnet for intrepid travelers. It rises to a high of over 4,000 feet and is an obstacle that only a very few have ever managed to conquer. The slope is actually steeper than vertical as the face is at a 105-degree overhang.
- Location: 1,250 meters or 4,100 feet
- Location: Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island, Canada
- Name: Named After The Norse God Thor - The God Of Thunder
- Angle: 105 Degrees
Camping is allowed by Mount Thor, and there are several designated campsites around the Akshayuk Pass. There is also an established campsite north of Mount Thor's base that's complete with windbreaks and emergency shelters.
Climb the sheer precipice is no walk in the park; it took over 30 failed attempts to scale it before a four-man American team finally conquered it in 1985. It was an ordeal that took over 33 days and included over half a ton of food, gear, and fuel (that nearly ran out of supplies too).
- Climbing: Inadvisable To All But The Most Experienced In The National Park
It is also popular as a site for BASE jumpers and paragliders - although there is reportedly a jumping ban owing to the difficulty of getting emergency crews to such a remote location. So don't think of jumping unless one is willing to run afoul of the Canadian authorities and be prosecuted!
The Auyuittuq National Park - A Forgotten Wonder Of Canada
The park is a land boasting a zig-zag skyline of craggy granite peaks and glittering glaciers overlooking tundra valleys and steep-walled fjords. The fjords are inhabited by narwhal and ringed seals. Visitors are awed by dramatic meltwater strings thundering down to the fjords and landscapes of towering rock formations.
The Auyuittuq National Park was originally called Baffin Island National Park when it was first established in 1972. It is a dramatic landscape dominated by Arctic wilderness like ice fields, glaciers, and fjords. It is regarded as one of the world's last great "unexplored" wildernesses as CN Traveler put it.
Auyuittuq's name is a native Inuit name meaning “the land that never melts.”
One of the many impressive features of the park is Mount Asgard. It is a feature that some may be able to recall from the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me" when he leaps with a Union Jack parachute at the beginning of the film.
Visiting Auyuittuq National Park
If one is planning to explore Auyuittuq National Park, there are guides and outfitters available in Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq. They also provide boat transportation to and from the park.
- Open: Year Round
- Road Access: None
- Season: July and August. Most popular For Hiking
- Contact Numbers: 867-473-2500 (Pangnirtung) or 867-927-8834 (Qikiqtarjuaq)
Tours of Auyuittuq are listed on the Parks Canada website.
- Daily Back Country Excursions: $13.00 CAD ($10.00 USD)
- Nightly Back Country Excursion/Camping: $26.25 CAD ($20.00)
The Askhayuk Pass is popular for skiing and hiking and is a 97-kilometer or 62-mile natural corridor between the mountains. Depending on one's skill level, it takes around 8-12 days to traverse the pass. This is no designated trail to follow. Instead, hikers need to follow the glacial valley and various significant landmarks.
Along the route, hikers see striking views of Overlord, Odin, Thor, and Asgard peaks.
Auyuittuq National Park is far from the easiest national park in Canada to visit, but the landscapes and experiences it offers are sure to live on, with one forever being the experience of a lifetime.