Navigating in the Arctic is done in real time.
Looking at a map and planning your "route" can only take you so far. In reality, if you are to make any sort of meaningful progress, you must constantly remain aware of the ecological edges that provide good walking.
Whether it's travelling along game trails, the disturbance gradient of a rivercourse, or the vegetation edges of the tundra, being able to view terrain from afar and predict its resistance is a key step in efficient navigation.
June may be the best month to travel efficiently in the Arctic. Deciduous vegetation, such as birch and willow, has not yet sprouted much leafage, so bushwacking is accomplished with good visibility, and aufeis along the rivers provide safe, easy, and fast walking.
More challenging is the tundra, especially those sections of tundra that lie between ridges and valleys, comprised mostly of tussocks, bogs, and dense birch groves.
However, in June, colors of the vegetation are subtly distinguished. You can see the myriad vegetation types in this photograph, which shows a vast difference in walking quality between the lower section of the photo (tan, boggy, tussocks), darker brown and green in the mid section of the hillside (dense birch), and the glorious light green of firm, dry tundra!
The scenery here is nothing short of spectacular. The lush vegetation of the tundra floor provides marked contrast between the snow and rock of the distant mountains. Here, Roman is walking the skyline of a small ridge, backdropped by the DeLong Mountains that flank the Wulik River drainage.