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 light in the north at this time of year provides what seems like endless sunrise and sunset lighting. The colours in the sky last for about 5 hours a day but you never actually see the sun, it hovers just below the horizon."
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.
"The extreme cold provided beautiful landscape, freezing and covering everything in snow. Being out in minus 37 degrees Celsius will definitely be remembered for the rest of my life, it is not too often that you visit a place that gets that cold."
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.