Blowing snow, ice, snow banks, streaking clouds, flat landscape, far-off snow capped mountain ranges, streaks and whirls on hill crests showing a pattern from the gusting wind, polar bears, rabbits, mice, prints in the snow, a few deer, hardy tufts of grass peaking out of the snow, rock formations, igloos, sleds, sled dogs, skidoos, Inuit dressed in furs and leathers, hunters with jackets ringed in animal fur, skidoo tracks, dog tracks, old fire pits/camp sites, simple tents, tents made of skins, very few trees, animal skat, fogging breath, smoke from fires, few birds, sun, bright and possibly warmless (depending on the time of year), ice crust, icicles, frozen & barren patches of dirt
Howling/whistling/tearing wind, flapping tent, the crackle/hiss of a fire, the whistle of a kettle on the fire, the crinkle of cold fabric (parka, tent, bedding), the crunch of snow beneath the boot, the steady whispering slur of runners in the snow, panting dogs, the rev of an engine, the roar of a bear, the pattering gait of huskies pulling the sled, the creak of harness and buckles, the caw of birds as they scavenge or hunt, sneezing, sniffling, coughing as a result of the cold, snow crystals rattling against coat, the crack of a snow axe cutting a handhold, the scratch of wind blowing through tufts of dry grass
Sweat, clean ozone-like smell of fresh snow, warming leather, rock, dogs & animals, fresh kills and found carrion, the wind carrying the scent of briny open water, woodsmoke, tea, coffee, roasted or raw meat, dead grass, frozen soil
Raw meat, hardtack, biscuits, jerky, tea, coffee, cooked meat, trail mix or other nutritious foods brought for the journey, the tang of melted snow, salty sweat on the lips, gamy wild meat
Wind slicing at exposed flesh, rubbing it raw, chapped skin and bleeding lips, cracked knuckles and skin from exposure, numbness in fingers and toes, sun burn on face, wind burn on cheeks and forehead, pain in the ears from constant wind, dry tongue from thirst, shaking from spent strength, breath sawing at throat, pain in lungs from cold air, the pinging darts of wind-blown snow on the skin, headaches, snow blindness, disorientation, dizziness, spasming muscles, cold snow against hands, tying frozen laces, boots packing down the snow, forcing muscles to slog through deep drifts, snow filling boots, or gloves, lying against the cold snow or leaning against the packed snow of a man-made snow cave, waiting out a storm.
--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
I pulled the tent flap back and shielded my eyes. The sun had lit up the ice crystals, transforming the ground into snow-crusted treasure. I smiled and took a deep breath of the cold, invigorating air, glad to have such beauty accompany me on the hike to the polar bear observation station.
I tightened my grip on the last match, staring down at its red tip. All around me on the cold ground lay the corpses of its fellows, twisted into useless black ash. Tears streamed in my vision and I bend over the pile of dry grass tinder. If this last one failed, I would not survive another night on the freezing plain.
--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Example 1: (Simile)
I huddled in the snow shelter, my back against a hastily constructed wall, listening to the storm howl like a crazed Arctic beast.
Example 2: (Metaphor)
High morning cloud streaked the sky, a lofty white mirror of the tundra below.