About Us

Find about who we are, our history of 25+ years in business, our social responsibility and what guests of Weber Arctic are saying

A family of polar explorers. Richard, Josée, Tessum and Nansen have spent the past 25 years exploring the polar regions. Having lead some of the first polar expeditions to successfuly reach the North Pole, set speed records at both poles, recipient of the Order of Canada, renowned Arctic Wildlife photographer and worldclass polar guides, the Weber family knows Arctic. They’ve skied, kayaked, hiked and explored across Canada’s far north.

Richard Weber
Richard Weber

One of the world’s pre-eminent polar explorers with more than 60 completed Arctic, North and South Pole expeditions, Richard is the Founder of Weber Arctic. His long and diverse list of polar firsts and record-making accomplishments include: The first surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Canada; the first snowshoe trek; and in 1995 the first (and only) unsupported return trip to the North Pole. Richard began working in Arctic tourism in 1993 when he guided the world’s first commercial trek to the North Pole, and conducted hiking and kayaking trips on Baffin Island. To date, Richard has the distinction of having the most successful treks to the North Pole of anyone in history.

Accomplishments & Awards

2015 - Order of Canada recipient for “Pioneering acts of polar exploration and for his efforts to increase awareness of environmental threats to the North”
Co-author of two books Polar Attack: From Canada to the North Pole and Polar Bridge: An Arctic Odyssey
2011 - Opened Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge
2010 - Guinness World Record speed record to the North Pole
2009 - Guinness World Record speed record to the South Pole
2008 - Purchased Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge
2006 - North Pole Classic (unsupported)
2000 - Purchased Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge
1994 & 1996 - Meritorious Service Decorations from the Governor General
1995 - Weber-Malakhov Expedition - first and only unsupported return trek to the North Pole (completed)
1993 - North Pole Dash - first commercial expedition (completed)
1988 - Polar Bridge Expedition (completed)
1986 - Steger International Polar Expedition (completed)
1985 - Began trekking in the Arctic
Three medals from the Russian and Soviet Governments
Member of Canada’s National Cross Country Ski Team (seven years)
BA in Mechanical Engineering - University of Vermont

Josee Auclair
Josee Auclair

While not chasing polar bears out of the kitchen, Josee is out on the tundra and constantly improving the clients experiences. Josee has adventure in her soul: she is a polar guide who has traversed the Arctic since 1987, pioneered women-only expeditions to the North and South Poles, sea kayaked and hiked Baffin Island; spent two summers with a nomadic Inuit family in an outpost camp on Baffin Island; and assisted her husband, Richard on many of his expeditions. As a botanist and teacher, Josee has a passion for youth education and food. She is the driving force behind the Arctic Change Program.

Accomplishments

2013 - Opened Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge
2011 - Purchased Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge
2007 - Led an all-women trek covering the last degree to the North Pole
1999 - 2004 - Conducted and led annual treks covering the last degree to the North Pole
2001 - Led Woman Quest - an all-women trek to the North Pole
2000 - Purchased Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge
1988 - First Arctic expedition to cross the Penny Ice Cap on Baffin Island
1985 - Began trekking in the Arctic
Member of Canada’s National Cross Country Ski Team
BSc in Botany - University of Vermont
Teaching Certificate - University of Quebec

Nansen Weber
Nansen Weber

Nansen grew up spending summers traversing the Arctic. Now a professional wildlife & Arctic photographer and polar guide for over a decade, Nansen’s expertise spans logistic work with top wildlife film production crews to technical expeditions such as alpine touring in the Arctic Cordillera range. Along with his brother Tessum, he has pioneered a polar first - the world’s northern most heli-skiing. When not guiding international guests for Weber Arctic, Nansen travels the world on photographic projects with organizations like National Geographic & Netflix. Most of the photos on our site and in the blogs are courtesy of Nansen.

Tessum Weber
Tessum Weber

When not found in the Arctic, on the trails or skiing a glacier, Tessum can be found on the stage promoting and fighting for the north. Tessum is the youngest person to ski to the North Pole. He made his first forray to the Arctic at six weeks of age. His passion for introducing more people to the magnificence of the North has helped expand the offering from Arctic Watch and Arctic Haven include Arctic heli-sking. He and his brother have launched the most northern heli-skiing in the world from the Baffin Island community of Clyde River. A polar guide and avid traveller, he’s spent nearly 30 years across the Canadian Arctic.

TEAM MEMBERS

Alexandre Deschenes Philion
Alexandre Deschenes Philion

From Gatineau, Quebec, Alex has always been an athlete - hiking, biking, kayaking and snowboarding as he explored the great outdoors. He has a deep passion for environmental conservation. Alex is a polar guide and kayak specialist with Weber Arctic leading paddling and biking excursions on the Northwest Passage and central Arctic regions of Nunavut. In addition, he guides polar expeditions to the high Arctic and Antarctic.

Drew Nylen
Drew Nylen

Interior British Columbia native, Drew grew up climbing, skiing, and biking the Rockies, Selkirks and Monashee mountain ranges. His passion for mountains and the wilderness drew him to the Arctic where he has multiple first ascents/descents on Baffin Island. Now a polar guide and mountain specialist with Weber Arctic, Drew also leads kayaking and fly fishing excursions. Drew has helped launch the Baffin Island heli-ski project.

David Allcorn
David Allcorn

A passionate naturalist, Dave has lived in the Arctic for over a decade and is involved in numerous research projects such as flora surveys, bird counts, snow sampling, ice-coring and monitoring polar bear populations. He's completed many voyages throughout the Northwest Passage, East and West Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, and spends half the year in Antarctica. Dave is a guide at Weber Arctic specializing in wildlife viewing and archeology.

Emilie Gibeau
Emilie Gibeau

Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains by a grizzly bear biologist, Emilie is as comfortable in the Northern Arctic as she is climbing granite peaks. Having studied documentary filmmaking, Emilie seeks to connect people to a place through story. When she's not a guide and resident blogger for Weber Arctic, Emilie spends her time rock climbing, back country skiing, trail running and perfecting her fly cast.

Virginie Pichard-Jolicoeur
Virginie Pichard-Jolicoeur

Virginie has been a member of the Weber Arctic team since 2007. A polar adventurer at heart, Virginie has spent numerous years guiding, travelling and exploring remote regions of the Arctic. Formerly a nationally ranked cross-country skier, Virginie combines her passion for fitness and the outdoors with adventure. Virginie is engaged in all aspects of hospitality at Weber Arctic. When she's not guiding an adventure on the tundra, skiing the slopes of Baffin Island or paddle boarding the Cunningham River, Virginie devotes her time to pursuing her other passion - her career as a physiotherapist in Vernon, British Columbia.

Seemee Kalluk
Seemee Kalluk

Resident of Arctic Bay, Baffin Island, Seemee is a Nunavumiut with a passion for the tundra and an excellent guide. An important part of Weber Arctic's team, he is our mechanic, guide, maintenance person and is an exceptional boat and snow machine driver.

Kristoffer Koral
Kristoffer Koral

Born and raised in the and sunny Okanagan valley, Kristoffer Korol abandoned his warmer days to spend his summers in the Arctic. Initially working as mineral sampler, the long days trudging through fields of endless Arctic wildflowers gave Kristoffer a soulfully deep appreciation for the land. Driven to share the magic of the North with others, fortune connected him with the Webers for whom he guides and tells stories all summer long while never seemingly shedding his mischievous grin. A professional diver and extremely skilled outdoorsman, Kristoffer is a polar guide at Weber Arctic. When not exploring polar regions, Kristoffer may be found in the Pacific Northwest guiding youth on land and on sea, diving to conduct surveys on marine populations, or scheming of the next self-propelled trip he will take to explore this incredible Earth.

Joseph Kalluk
Joseph Kalluk

Resident of Arctic Bay, Baffin Island, Joseph is a junior guide and lodge helper. Joseph is of Nunavumiut descent - his keen eyes for tracking wildlife and passion for adventure make him a great resource when we're out exploring the tundra. When he's not out on excursion, you'll find him helping out in his duties at the lodges. He loves to swim and his favourite canine companion is "Fury" the bear dog.

OUR HISTORY

The Arctic is one of the last unspoiled areas on earth, it’s somewhere everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Richard and Josée first began exploring the Arctic in 1985, and in 1993 they ran their first commercial trek to the North Pole - and Weber Arctic was born. From 1993 to 2000 the Webers organized skiing, hiking and kayak adventures throughout Nunavut.

In 2000, Arctic Watch on the shores of Somerset Island in the Northwest Passage was purchased because it offered so much of what the Arctic holds - all in one location. Guests can kayak with beluga whales; fish for Arctic char; go ATVing or river rafting; see icebergs, polar bear, and muskox; visit archaeological sites and bird rookeries; hike the Badlands; and so much more. Since the existing structure had been empty for several years, it required a lot of hard work to prepare for guests. In 2007, a bulldozer was driven across the ice of the Northwest Passage from Resolute Bay to Arctic Watch. It took a week, but enabled them to build an airstrip so now guests can comfortably fly direct from Yellowknife, NWT in four and half hours. Arctic Watch has a short summer and is only open for the months of July and August enabling guests to take full advantage of the midnight sun.

By 2008, it was time to look for a location for a second Arctic lodge. The Webers found it on Ennadai Lake in the Barren Grounds. The original structure was built in 2002 as a fishing & aurora borealis lodge that ran from 2003-2005. In 2013 after partnering with Aleeasuk Idlout and Aziz Kheraj of Resolute Bay, Richard and Josée reopened the lodge and renamed it Arctic Haven. The location is a perfect complement to Arctic Watch - it’s an equally magnificent, yet completely different region of the Arctic. Home to hundreds of thousands of caribou, wolves, wolverines, foxes, birds and more. Experience world-class fishing, hike alongside caribou on their migratory path, kayak the 84 km long lake, and snowmobile. Arctic Haven offers adventure packages in the Spring (April-June) and Fall (End of August - September) - the perfect time to take in the majesty of the Northern Lights.

In 2015, the Weber Family took the next step towards building a new basecamp. Having led numerous expeditions across Baffin Island, the Weber family knew that the fiords of Baffin held good skiing with the potential for a heliskiing site. An arctic adventure that would not only show guests a unique Arctic mountain setting, but provide access to the world’s northernmost heliskiing tenure in a place that few have ever set foot upon. Nestled amongst the granite walls of the Arctic cordillera, Basecamp Baffin was born. Basecamp Baffin is open in April and May annually.

TESTIMONIALS

Thank you so much for your special welcome. We had a marvellous time. Your staff are truly outstanding, professional and expert and very caring and helpful to guests; the comfort levels were amazing, from comfy cabins to the delicious food; and the variety of the scenery and activities were a revelation. All in all we had a truly memorable experience in the very special landscape of the Canadian North; and we were touched by the warmth of your welcome. We can’t thank you enough. We certainly hope to return.

TONY HELY AND WENDY JEFFERY

I have been to Arctic Watch 4 times and am returning this summer for my 5th visit. If you are a lover of the wilderness, a fan of the North, or just generally curious about the more extreme portions of our planet, Arctic Watch should be number one on your "must visit" list.

There are many ways to see the Arctic but none so unique as Arctic Watch. You don't need to be an athlete or even particularly fit and yet Youspend the day experiencing wilderness at the most intimate level. Then pass your evenings sipping a cocktail, having a delcious dinner and sleeping warmly and comfortably under a down covering. The early Arctic explorers could not have imagined it.

For wildlife afficianados there is no better way to get up close and personal with Beluga whales, musk oxen snowy owls and even the occasional polar bear. Photographers can have a field day. Gull Canyon alone is worth the trip.

The Weber family and their staff work tirelessly to ensure that their guests are safe, comfortable and having more fun than you'd think possible in such a remote location. There are few travel opportunities that offer a better travel dollar value proposition and I heartily recommend it to any serious traveler.

TIM GOODSELL

Of all the traveling I have done, three trips stand out: trekking in the Himalaya mountains for Nepal, safari in Kenya and my visit to Arctic Watch.

TOM BIDDY

Wonderful! Every day was better than the day before. The food was delicious and bountiful. The guides were knowledgeable and generous with their time, patience and good humour. We learnt so much and have a new appreciation of our North and the challenges which face those who live (and have lived) here. Josée , Richard and sons, you have made a huge effort to ensure our comfort, warmth and enjoyment. Many thanks.

MARGARET AND LARRY DICKENSON

Second time here and it’s still a wonderful place to be. Thank you so much … we will always remember the sound of broken ice and the colors of the water.

KATRIN AND URS

We have tried to do everything to extend our stay to a maximum and to enjoy it at the highest possible level but we will just have to come back for another episode.

PIERRE, JASON, TYLER LANGEVIN

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The Arctic is an environmentally fragile area. Due to the locations of Arctic Haven and Arctic Watch, we are keenly aware of the sensitive nature of the land and wildlife that surrounds us, and as such, we strive to make as little impact as possible. The maximum number of guests per week at Arctic Haven is 24, and at Arctic Watch: 26. These are the numbers we feel the land can support and not disturb the animals. Our airstrips have been designed to decrease the impact on the environment. A system of trails are maintained to prevent scarring the land. At Arctic Haven water comes from Ennadai Lake. There are a number of small septic systems that handle black and grey sewage. At Arctic Watch water is sourced from the Cunningham River. The black sewage is mulched and deposited in a small lagoon (4x2 metres), where it naturally breaks down. We have two of these small lagoons, and it takes approximately six or seven years to fill, by which time the other one is ready to be used again. Grey water is filtered then pumped out of the camp to a specially prepared bed where it evaporates and is absorbed back into the gravel. For both lodges, environmentally-friendly products are used for cleaning. Additionally, we take care to ensure our garbage is handled in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Metal, glass, plastic and non-burnable garbage is packaged and returned to Yellowknife or Resolute. All burnable refuse is disposed of in our incinerators that are powered by compressed air. The federal government makes yearly inspections to ensure that all of our systems conform to the environmental standards.

Arctic Haven is Nunavut’s only green-energy powered lodge, with wind and solar energy providing about 80% of the electricity. The remainder is supplemented by a generator.

The changes to the Arctic climate have been drastic over the last few years, therefore we keep the number of guests to a minimum so not to disturb the local ecosystem.

We are here to help.

We understand that booking a trip like this is a big endeavour. Please reach out to us with any questions that you might have regarding your upcoming adventure.

PARTNERS & SPONSORS