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Diamond Jubilee on Top of the World: Nunavut’s Queen Elizabeth Islands to Host Climbing Tea Party

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The Queen Elizabeth Islands boast the highest point in what used to be the British Empire, Mount Barbeau. And, accompanied by Inuit mentor and Diamond Jubilee Medal winner Jonny Issaluk, a group of intrepid climbers are determined to toast Queen Elizabeth II for her 60th year of reign.

This marks the weekend, June 2–4, of the official celebrations surrounding the Diamond Jubilee, just the second one to be celebrated in the history of the British monarchy. Artcirq performed in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Palace in mid-May, and now on the other side of the Pond, way up in the northern reaches of Canada, a team will summit Mount Barbeau and toast the Queen.

The climbing team belongs to Education Through Expeditions, and Issaluk, who was awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal in February by Governor General David Johnston for his work to improve the health and well-being of Nunavummiut, was essential as a guide.

Dubbing it the Arctic Jubilee, the team summitted the peak on Thursday May 31, CBC News reported. The 8,600-foot-high mountain is on Ellesmere Island, the highest point of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, the CBC said.

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'It seems that the expedition has captured the imagination of many members of the Royal Family and we understand that they are enthusiastically anticipating the communication from the team on Sunday,” Ashley Toft, managing director of adventure specialist company Explore, told The Mail.