Ski Touring in East Greenland
Ski Touring in East Greenland
The area that we ski tour is on the East Coast in a region named Angmagssalik. The mountain ranges are between large fiords coming off the Greenland ice cap. The highest peaks in the region top 2000 meters but generally most of the mountains are around 1000 meters but rise immediately from the ocean. The fiords are mostly ice filled and the surrounding ocean is pack ice making the region only accessible by boat in the summer months after the ice breaks up.
The skiing is on the satellite islands formed as the ice has retreated, runs are between 800 meters and 1100 meters long. The terrain is spectacular, skiing down towards large ice bergs on the water’s edge is unique to this region. There are many different options to ski in the fiords or explore different islands and sometimes check out small Inuit Villages in the region.
Spring is the best time to visit this region as there is more snow on the glaciers and the snowpack is usually well settled resulting in less avalanche danger. The weather is also more settled and with longer days even during storms there are more possibilities to get out! This is one of the most spectacular places on earth and in spring the ice breaks up and with the blue ocean you get an amazing contrast of snow, icebergs, ocean and mountains! In Greenland it is all about the experience of the Arctic!
The ski touring program starts in Kulusuk which is where you fly to from Iceland to access East Greenland. There is a small hotel there which is also the base for a heliskiing operation run by Shinsetsu International Ltd. The helicopter will be used to access the remote Tasilaq Mountain Hut where you will spend up to 5 days depending on weather exploring the high glacial region surrounding the hut. The heliski operation will provide a safety backup and logistic support to the program and you will use helicopters to fly into the hut. There is also options locally for touring plus we have access to a snow mobile and can tow you across the seas ice to some very good terrain close to the Kulusuk Hotel. There are a number of options for tours but like any mountain trip weather will play an important part in where you go. On average you can expect 2.5 days of bad weather during which time the amount of touring you can do may be restricted.
Day 1: Arrive in Kulusuk from Iceland around 12:pm. Check into Kulusuk Hotel and sort equipment. Safety training exercise at Kulusuk Hotel. Local ski tour on Island. Dinner and Breakfast at Hotel Kulusuk.
Day 2 to Day 6: Fly by helicopter to the Tasilaq Mountains Hut. Ski touring in the Karale Glacier region. Tasilaq hut is situated in a prime position to offer many days of touring by heading inland or descending towards the fiords below. The hut is warm with all facilities and all that is required is a sleeping bag.
Day 7: Local ski touring
Day 8: A visit to Kulusuk village before catching the plane back to Iceland.
Access to the East Coast of Greenland is via Iceland. There are many international connections to Keflavik International airport which is 40 minutes from Reykjavik, the main centre in Iceland. From Keflavik International airport we fly to Kulusuk International airport which is a 1:45 minute flight. Guests have a choice of staying near Keflavik airport or travelling an hour to Reykjavik where there are more hotel and restaurant options. It is worth schedulling time in Iceland and visiting Reykjavik.
There are only two flights to Kulusuk per week so you need to make sure that you are in Keflavik on time for your departure.
Greenland is the most spectacular place I have skied, the week offers a fantastic opportunity to experience somewhere completely different (more spectacular than Antarctica). It is not your regular touring destination and things in Greenland don’t operate with the same efficiency. The weather, snow quality or even the flying are not guaranteed and there is no refund policy.
In saying this I believe it is a very high quality product and from experience feel that the weather is stable enough that you will get to have a great trip although you can expect a day or two doing alternative activities. The days are long and we make the most of every opportunity.
You do need to have a sense of adventure and a desire to check out an amazing place.