Ammassalik Ski Expedition
The Ammassalik region on the scanty populated east coast of Greenland is a jewel in the Arctic crown. During this expedition we will follow the traditional dog sledding routes between the small hunting villages of the Ammassalik area.
As trip highlights:
- Crossing several islands and traversing frozen fjords following the traditional dog sled routes that have been used for centuries
- The sharp granite peaks rising up to 2000 m from the narrow fjords
- Gigantic icebergs, frozen into the sea ice
- Sleep in tents under the northern lights, or in cabins
- Small hunting villages
- Witness the daily live and culture of the local Greenlandic people
Day 0. Briefing with the guide in Iceland
The expedition leader will assess the equipment each member has brought and advise if there will be a need to replace anything. Later that day we have time to arrange for things if needed.
Day 1. Reykjavík - Kulusuk
We will pick you up at your hotel or guesthouse in Reykjavik between 10:00 and 10:45. Flight from Reykjavík (domestic airport) to Kulusuk. Walk to the Kulusuk hostel. Overnight in hostel.
Days 2 to 4. From Kulusuk to Sermiligaaq (60 km)
We set off skiing from Kulusuk, pulling the sleds out from the frozen harbour. We ski between the icebergs frozen in the sea ice, heading to the vertical ice wall of Apusiajik-glacier that runs into the frozen sea. We will ski over the gentle sloping Apusiajik glacier and down to the fjord on the other side where we establish our first camp. We cover delicate passes of sea ice while we are working our way between islands, crossing several islands and traversing frozen fjords following the traditional dog sled routes that have been used for centuries. Travelling 20 km on average per day, we plan to arrive to the small and isolated hunting villages of Sermiligaaq the afternoon of day 4.
Day 5. Sermiligaaq village
We spend two nights in Sermiligaaq. Like the other villages in the area it consists of a little clusters of small colourful wooden houses. It is located on the southern part of a large peninsula on the East Greenland mainland. It has just under 200 residents that mostly live from fishing and hunting. With permafrost in the ground there is no running water in the houses. In the centre of the village is a community owned "service house" providing hot shovers and washing machines for the hole village. It has a small room rented out to the occasional travellers that visit the village and there we stay. The day will be spent in town and it‘s nearest surroundings.
Days 6 and 7. From Sermiligaaq to Kuummiut (40 km)
While pulling or sleds across the Sermiligaaq fjord and in to the Ikateq strait, we pass an abandoned airfield, known by its wartime code name Bluie East 2. It was used by the US Air force during the second world war. When the station was evacuated in 1947 numerous trucks and other machinery were left there to rust down, making it a photographers paradise.
Day 8. Kuummiut village
With 380 inhabitants Kuummiut is the largest village in the Ammassalik area after the capital Tasiilaq. The village dates back to 1915 when a missionary station was established there. The Ammassalik fjord never freezes and that made the area a popular location for winter houses before that time and there are several old ruins in the area. In 1890 Karale Andreassen, son of the powerful shaman Mitsivarniánga, was born in Kuummiut. Karale was in the first group of East Greenlanders that was baptised in the spring of 1899. He did show great skills of drawing and some of his original drawings of the spiritual life he witnessed in his youth can be seen in museum in Tasiilaq.
Days 9 to 13. Kuummiut to Tiniteqilaaq (100 km)
This is the longest and physically hardest part of the expedition with a small glacier and several mountain passes to cross. The mountains are higher and the valleys are narrower. Sharp granite peaks like the "Triplets" reach more than 2000 meters in to the sky. With longer distance between the villages, the route is less travelled by the local inhabitants.
Day 14. Tiniteqilaaq
Tiniteqilaaq means "the strait which runs dry at low tide" it is one of the smaller communities in the Tasiilaq district, with about 150 people. On the bank of the Sermilik fjord, the village is beautifully situated. Without skis we will climb the hills above the town and enjoy the the view over the Sermilik fjord with its gigantic icebergs.
Day 15 and 16. Tiniteqilaaq to Tasiilaq (35 km)
We ski across the Ammassalik island. After crossing the frozen sund from the mainland, the route gently leads up the glacier in the centre of the island. There we have good view over the frozen Sermilik fjord and to the Greenland Icecap. The second day we follow series of lakes down to the Tasiilaq town. After establishing our selves in a confortable guest house we will have a dinner in a restaurant or the new pizzeria.
Day 17. Tasiilaq (22 km)
Without our sleds we will ski around the mountain "Prestfjelded". Arriving back to town through the snow covered flower valley and to the town´s cemetery. We spend the afternoon in town, the souvenir shop, the highly interesting museum and more interesting places in this beautiful town.
Day 18. Tasiilaq – Kulusuk
Free time in Tasiilaq and after lunch we take a boat back to Kulusuk where the circle is closed. In case of difficult ice conditions we will take the helicopter either in the afternoon or next morning.
Day 19. Kulusuk – Reykjavík
Flight from Kulusuk to Reykjavík. Expedition members are transported to their hotels and guest houses in Reykjavík.
|From (date)||To (date)||Departure||Price in Euros||Availability|
|Mar 19, 2016||Apr 06, 2016||From Iceland||€5274||Available|
Demanding some effort and certain endurance. Good health and some hiking experience is required. 6-8 hours walk per day. Often involves carrying your own gear.
Ready to travel?
Call + 00299 52 28 22
Environmental sustainability. We believe in a responsible tourism with unspoilt nature of Greenland, so all our trips are planned to have the least possible impact on the environment.
Safety. All our guides are expert about Greenland and know when either it is or it is not convinient to carry out an activity. Our safety records are unmatchable.
Local population. Our Inuit Climate Change Patrol ensures the maintanance of Inuit traditions by involving local people in utilization of a sustainable tourism.
To collaborate in the deepest knowledge of the most unfamiliar places on the planet and do so without affecting ecosystems. This is the philosophy that marks the Inuit Windsled Project, the only totally ecological vehicle designed for research in Polar lands.
Based on the ancient knowledge of the Inuit peoples, the Windsled developers have managed to create a means of transportation that combines tradition with modern means through kites that harness aeolian energy.
Inuit Climate Change Patrol;
In Thule today sled dogs are still used and the inhabitants go in search of their livelihood in cloth-lined kayaks, but we are witnessing the last generation of true Inuit hunters. Most of these people are between 45 and 60 years old and the next generation aren’t continuing in these traditions… Are we witnessing the last dynasty of the Kings of Thule?
This fear is the germ of the Inuit Climate Change Patrol, current project led by Ramon Larramendi (founder of Greenland.net)