08-01 Kangerlussuaq

on the ice cap

01.-03. Kangerlussuaq

  1. After a good but very early breakfast in Copenhagen we flew in little more than 4 hours to Greenland. Since it was previously an American airbase Kangerlussuaq airport has an adequate runway for the long distance wide-body jets of Air Greenland. Because of the time difference we were given another breakfast meal on the plane and it was still morning when we arrived. Before landing we had our first glimpst of the inland ice with many lakes on the surface. The settlement is not attractive being dominated by the airport. Our accommodation was in a group of long wooden building with little rooms known as the ‘Old Camp’. We set off almost at once for a walk up a nearby hill with views of the fjord and the ice cap. The weather was fine and relatively warm with 18 deg.There was an almost tame snow hare and a startled reindeer to be seen. Very far away 3 musk oxen could just be made out. The midges were not so bad as expected and were not a problem.
  2. An off-road vehicle first brought us to the Russel glacier which is already an impressive sight with its huge cliff of ice. On the way we again saw a reindeer at close quarters, this time long enough to take photos or a video. We continued on foot over a small hill reaching the track again by a lake on the far side. A large male rather battered looking musk ox with only one horn surprised us crossing the track. It took no notice at all of us. Finally we reached the inland ice at ‘Point 660’ where it is quite easily accessible. We carried our equipment onto the ice, loaded it on small sledges and fitted our crampons. There was only a short walk across the ice to the campsite although it started to rain but stopped when we arrived. We had to pitch our own tents but the mess tent was already in place and the young Danish guide explained everything very well. I slept well but when I did go out of the tent I saw a polar fox skulking round the site.
  3. We awoke to cloudless blue skies and set off after breakfast for an ice tour around the vicinity of the camp. The terrain varies considerably from gently undulating to serrated with high ridges and valleys. There are also many streams, pot holes and even lakes. We returned from the glacier trip around midday and after lunch repacked all the equipment including the mess tent. Then we commenced the return journey and after waiting for our transport together with another group and stopping to view another glacier and waterfall we finally reached Kangerlussuaq again at 7pm. It was great excursion but strenuous, a once in a lifetime experience!

    Kangerlussuaq region

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