Expedition Kangerlussuaq – Qaanaaq 2024.
Guide/s: Camilla Ringvold and Håkon Mæland
Avaliable spots: 3
The best snow kiting on Greenland is found between Kangerlussuaq and Qaanaaq. Golden miles of white snow and white horizons as long as the eye can see.
Start location: Kangerlussuaq/Søndre Strømfjord – Point 660
Start date: Between April 19th and May 1st 2024 (TBD)
End location: Qaanaaq (THULE)
Maximum participations: 4
Total km: approx.2000km
Total days on ice: 20-25
To join this expedition;
– you have an excellent health and no need for daily intake of fluid medications
– you are familiar with kiting downwind with pulk in 3-5ms
– ride overpowered downwind
– pull a pulk of 80kg
– you are familiar with winter camping in cold climate
Join us for a remarkable journey and gather memories that will last you a lifetime!
Home – Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq
At the bottom of Søndre Strømfjord, the small village of Kangerlussaq is home for about 600 inhabitants. The airport is the hub for Air Greenlands largest plane and are welcoming local and foreign passengers from abroad before smaller planes commutes to the smaller settlements. Old Camp in Kangerlussuaq is our expedition hub, and we use the day to pack our pulks, test shoot rifle, load our fuel and get ready for the days ahead.
Kangerlussuaq – Point 660
A unimog truck is transporting us 30km for about 2,5 hours through Sandflugtdalen towards the edge of the glacier and point 660. Some years the truck can drive all the way up, but be prepared for a little walking and carrying before we step our feet on the ice for the first time.
We usually don´t hike too far up the glacier on our first day, but use our time well to get acquainted with the heavy pulks, fit our equipment and adjust to the terrain.
Russel Glacier icefall
Depending on the ice condition, snowfall and temperature we spend our days navigating through some magnificent ice formations. The first days it can be challenging to maneuver the pulks, and the pace can be quite slow. But the higher we get, the smoother the ice surface gets. Be prepared to use crampons the whole way up if there is little snow and deep gorges. Skins and skis can also be our option for our ascent – only the ice conditions will let us know when we get there.
Uphill inland ice and light wind
At approximately 1200m above sea level we can pack our crampons away and launch our kites for the first time. The next few days is all about taking in the view and majestic white scenery and enjoy cruising towards higher grounds. The temperatures are getting colder day by day, but are usually still quite friendly at around -10. We move slightly uphill in smooth uphills and downhills until we reach our marching altitude of around 2300m above sea level.
Cruising above the Arctic Circle
Days are getting longer everyday. We are now really «doing it»! We can meet up on sastrugi, powder, light wind, strong wind, blue bird days and low visibility. No day are the same, and we are seeing 10 variations of snow every day. Everyone has found their routine and is getting really into the kite loop routine. We move between 60-150km a day.
Turning west and downhill powderruns
We are turning our skis more towards the west and slowly start our descent. Wind change and tricky conditions can occur, and we will most likely also experience loads of snow which can make our pulks drag and drown at times. All fun and part of the game. The last descent towards the edge of the ice is with a beautiful view of the Thule landscape and the Bowdoin fjord. We land our kites around 10 km from the sea ice.
Descent to Bowdoin fjord
With our pulks notably lighter than in the start, we gear up for our our last descent towards our pickup point in the bottom of the Bowdoin fjord. The earlier we arrive in May, the better are the chances for snow all the way down. Without it, we carry our stuff down until we reach the sea ice. The sound of birds is welcomed and the scenery is breathtaking with icebergs drifting out with the sea ice. We are also amp up on our polar bear watch, as we are now back in their food court.
Bowdoin fjord sledride to Qaanaaq
Our Qaanaaq inuit friends are picking us up on traditional Greenland sleds. The ride out to Qaanaaq takes 1-2 days depending on sea ice conditions. We might stay overnight in hunting cabin on the way, and if we are lucky we get to experience seal hunting close up. It’s nice to sit and rest our feet high while navigating through icebergs and sea ice cracks.
Qaanaaq is the northernmost town in Greenland and the second most northerly town in the world (behind Longyearbyen in Svalbard). It lies just 167 km from Canada. It has a vivid sledding and hunting culture, that only the few people visiting this town are honored to experience up close.
Fresh water is difficult to come by in Qaanaaq due to its very high latitude. During winter they use heavy machinery to retrieve icebergs from the sea ice that are then crushed, melted and cleaned in a special facility connected to the distribution network – you won’t get a smoother shower than the one in Qaanaaq.
We repack and dry up our equipment, heal our tired legs and start our trip home with our minds full of new impressions.
We have a day layover in Illulisat before we continue on our final domestic flight the next day, and then depart from Kangerlussuaq and Greenland.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
-Group expedition equipment (cookware/tent)
-Expedition applications to Greenland government
-Radio license/weapon license application/SAR insurance application
-Bond for expedition of 200 000DKK (approx 25 000 EUR) on offset account for emergency rescues not applicable for insurance claim.
-Mandatory expedition communication kit (InReach, satellite phone, PBR
-Transport to glacier (pt.660) from Kangerlussuaq.(Note: this does not include any Heli transfers to and from the ice-cap)
-Sled transport from Bowdoin fjord to Qaanaaq with local inuit hunters
-Weapon rental and ammunition
-Fuel for full expedition, est. 0,25l purified gasoline pr. person pr. day.
-Expedition medical kit, including prescriptions & doctor on call
-Forecast from back office daily
-Expedition planning, applications, guiding and comms.
-On ice guiding including routes on /off icecap incl. equipment lists, food recommendation list, medical overview
-Back office online during expedition time. Updated forecasts.
-Additional backup expedition equipment for group, ropes, tent repairs, ski repairs, sled etc
Without limitation, the following items are excluded from the expedition price: International flights to and from Greenland, accommodation in Greenland (Kangerlussuaq 1-2 nights, Illulisat 1 night, and Qaanaaq 1-2 nights, local flights in Greenland, food before, during and after expedition, personal expedition equipment, general travel insurance, excess baggage fees on personal equipment (if any), any costs associated with leaving the expedition early, any costs resulting from delays, disruptions or variations due to weather or ice-cap conditions, any helicopter journey that is required to be chartered for non-medical purposes (payable on a per person pro-rata basis), and any other cost not specified in the inclusions.
Maximum 4 participants pr expedition team.
Get in touch and we will do our very best to optimize your journey!
Price: from 170 000 NOK
If you have a special request, or have already assembled your team but need a guide or expedition consulting only, please use the same form.
Classic route – Kangerlussuaq – Qaanaaq
Start date on ice: April 20th
Håkon Mæland (expedition leader)
South/North route – Narsaq – Qaanaaq
Start date on ice: April 20th
Camilla Ringvold (expedition leader)
Grażyna D Machnik