We gather in Kangerlussuaq at the west coast. The next day and a half we do the last preparations and packing, before being driven to the edge of the ice. To see the mighty Icecap is a huge thrill and after the last adjustments, we throw ourselves at the mercy of the icefall. The conditions depend greatly on the amount of snowfall during the winter. With little snow, it can be a fun struggle to get ourselves onto proper snow for skiing.
We will be out of the Icefall after some 3-4 days and then onto the rolling ice-dunes that take us ever higher and towards the plateau. After 9 days (approximately) we reach the abandoned ‘Early Warning Radar Station’; DYE II. Not pretty, but a reminder of the Cold war and by now a historic Icecap relic that slowly is being buried in the snow.
From here we have a marvellous, and perfect snowfield that really gives a superb feeling of vastness and calm. When ¾ of the distance is covered we pass over the highest point on the route called the ‘Summit’. This long shoulder stretch out in a south-north direction, and marks the entry to the eastern side of the icecap. With that the wind should start coming in from behind. These katabatic winds consist of cold air flowing from the higher areas and down towards the ‘warm’ sea, where the warm air rises and with that sucks the cold air down, – sometimes in a violent fashion.
With these winds in the back and the terrain starting to drop, the last days will be a real treat as the distances almost double before the first Nunataks start showing on the horizon. An immense feeling of joy keeps building as more mountains appear and eventually – the ocean, littered with icebergs, come into view.
On the last leg, we need full focus as we tread our way safely off the ice and onto the fjord and follow the thin ice until the edge. There we are picked up by boat and taken to Isortoq.
Isortoq is a small and very ‘authentic‘ fishing and hunting village. It is the perfect way to round off our acquaintance with the wild Greenland as we start to digest the experience and all the impressions from this truly unique world.
Heading back homewards we will have to fly to Tasiilaq, the ‘Capital’ of the East-Greenland’, for and a good meal and a night, before flying home either via Iceland or Copenhagen.
2017 & 2018:
Starting dates may be subject to change.