From Whitehorse to Inuvik – from night to light. We partnered with Tom Parker on our 4MATIC expedition to the top of the world so the rest of Canada could experience an unforgettable moment: the sun cresting the arctic horizon for the first time after 30 days of darkness.
Meet Tom Parker>
I'm Tom, a Vancouver-based outdoor photographer. Light is everything in photography, so what does photography look like in the months where there isn't any? The opportunity of taking photographs in a remote part of Canada that experiences perpetual darkness for 30 days is a prospect I couldn't say no to.
We begin our 4MATIC journey at night. Darkness is my canvas, so I rely on the black blanket of the night sky to illuminate my subject matter on our trip north. When we reach Inuvik, we'll bring an incredible moment, witnessed by those living in the most remote parts of Canada, to the rest of the nation: the sun cresting the arctic horizon for the first time after 30 days of darkness.
Our 1,223-km journey begins in Whitehorse. Our first stretch: Klondike Highway to Dempster Highway. It's an endless labyrinth of frozen bog, stone and once-upon-a-time greenery encased in darkness and ice.
It's vast, beautiful and desolate all at once – it's alluring. We welcome the road trip banter yet marvel in silence under the ever-night sky. From Eagle Plains to Fort McPherson, we cross the Mackenzie River into the Arctic Circle and pull into Inuvik.
The long winter night stretches far into the horizon – the sky often ablaze in auburn. Its light, a playful dance between sunrise and sunset, colours the sky five hours a day. All the while, the sun never makes an appearance: it stays just below the skyline.
There was an excitement in the air as the town prepared for the imminent arrival of the sunrise. With only another 127 km to Tuktoyaktuk, Canada’s northernmost settlement accessible by car, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit it. We drove up the newly opened Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway to weather the final 2 hours of Canada’s arctic and test the limits of our 4MATIC vehicle.
On this icy plane, we experienced -37 °C weather that was biting and beautiful. Pristine snow and frozen temperatures brought landscapes to a standstill, allowing for extraordinary compositions, acute clarity, and a renewed sense of how amazing our country is.
We returned to Inuvik to witness the magic of the sun’s return. The community celebrates with a massive, warm bonfire and a spectacular fireworks show which was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. Seeing the sun rise after such a long stretch of darkness was incredible. It was the perfect ending to an epic journey.