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August 28, 2008

Wikipedia: Ward Hunt Island

Filed under: — admin @ 1:07 am

Ward Hunt Island is a small island in the Arctic Ocean, off the north coast of Ellesmere Island. Its northern cape, at 83°05′48″N, 74°16′00″W, is one of the northernmost points of land in Canada. The island is 6.5 km long, east to west, and 3 km wide. It was discovered in 1876 by Pelham Aldrich, a lieutenant with the George Nares expedition, and named for George Ward Hunt, First Lord of the Admiralty (1874-1877).

Ward Hunt Island was briefly used as a weather station during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58, and since then it has been used as the starting point for a number of attempts to reach the North Pole, beginning with Ralph Plaisted in 1968. There is an airstrip and a building on the north shore; each is likely the northernmost facility of its kind in the world.

On July 29 2008, a giant chunk of ice broke away from the shelf on Ward Hunt Island. It was the largest fracture of its kind since the nearby Ayles ice shelf — which measured 25 square miles — broke away in 2005.


  • Nares, George (1878). Narrative of A Voyage to the Polar Sea in H.M. Ships ‘Alert’ and ‘Discovery’. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington.

Coordinates: 83°05′48″N, 74°16′00″W

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