East Greenland Glacier Circuit - GRL65

Let your cross country skis bring you adventures!

Icebergs and skiers on the pack ice
Photo: Jóhanna Björk, IMG

Icebergs and skiers on the pack ice

Walk on water... frozen water... or Pack ice.
Photo: Jóhanna Björk, IMG

Walk on water... frozen water... or Pack ice.

Tour type: cross country ski tour

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 265885

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What's included: Guide, food for 8 days, all transportation, accommodation, pulka rental

Departures: 4- 11 April 2020

Duration: 8 days

Accommodation: Hostel and tents

Meeting point: The domestic airport in Reykjavík

Group size: 4-12 participants

Language: English

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Unique Cross Country Skiing on Pack Ice
    • Glaciers and Icebergs in their winter costume
    • Winter Camping in serene locations 

    Cross country skiing expedition and camping around Apusiaajik Glacier in East Greenland 

    The Apusiaajik Island in East Greenland is the perfect destination for a winter cross country skiing adventure. Its magnificent mountains, sharp granite peaks and snow covered glacier calottes decorate the landscape looming above the fjords dotted with icebergs. The friendly atmosphere of the local Inuit population and the assurance of great amount of snow make this one of the best winter adventures one can experience. On this tour we will cirquit around the Apusiaajik Island from Kulusuk We will carry our gear on pulkas, so we can improvise if needed or required. We start and end our tour in Kulusuk, our home village, where we introduce you to the local hunters and craftsmen. The adventures do not get much more real than this!


    Total distance: 90 kilometers (55 miles)
    Altitude: 0 - 500 meters (0 - 1640 feet)
    Walking/Skiing per day: 6-8 hours
    Maximum ascent: 450 meters (1640 feet)

    Included: Guide for 8 days, food for 8 days (from lunch day 1 to lunch day 8), 4 nights camping, 3 nights in a hostel, pulka rental.

    Not included: Flight from Reykjavík - Kulusuk - Reykjavik (can be added on the first and last day of the trip, from around 910 € return), personal equipment, insurance or costs due to bad weather or unforseen conditions.

    Accommodation in Reykjavík can be added. 

    If you have questions, please check our FAQs. If you do not find the answer please contact us: booking@greenland.is

     

  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: Reykjavík - Kulusuk
    We fly from from Reykjavík to Kulusuk in the late morning and because of time difference we arrive late morning in Kulusuk as well after our 2 hour flight. We load our pulkas and do our first Greenland skiing to the village. It is a nice 3 km warm-up. We settle at a cosy cabin hostel in town for the night and go over the plan for the next days. Before dinner, we explore town and the surroundings, ending at the local supermarket where we stock up on the food we are missing for our adventure. 

    Night in a sleeping bag accommodation in the village.

    Skiing: 5 km (3 miles), 2 hours
    Ascent/Descent : 200 m

    Day 2 : We head out on the Pack Ice
    The adventure turly begins today. We ski down to the pack ice and towards our glacier island, Apusiaajik. We start by following the tracks of the dogsled hunters, making it comfortable to ski in. We then cross to the east side of the island where we find a good spot to set up camp. Night in a tent. 

    Skiing: 18 km (11 miles), 6 - 7 hours
    Ascent/Descent : 100 m

    Day 3 : Icelocked Icebergs 

    We continue our skiing on the packice, but we take a detour out of the dog-sleding "highway" to exlore beautiful cliffs, an ancient winter house location and the giant icebergs, frozen stuck in the pack ice. We set up camp around mid day and continue our exploration without our pulkas. Night in a tent.

    Skiing: 20 km (12,5 miles), 6 - 7 hours
    Ascent/Descent : 100 m

    Day 4: On the Pack Ice Towards Apusiaajik

    We backtrack a little bit today, back towards Apusiaajik island and end on the northern side of it. We enjoy sking on the flat surface of the pack ice. We are one quite wide fjords now, so the panorama is great. Night in a tent.

    Skiing: 15 km (9 miles), 6 - 7 hours 
    Ascent/Descent : 100 m

    Day 5: To the Glacier Camp

    Today is a great day. We go off the pack ice now, and continue on land towards the glacier part of the island we have been circling. We ascend about 300 m in total this day, and end with a great view over the island and the glacier. We find a flat spot on the glacier and set up camp for the last time. This will be epic! Night in a tent.

    Skiing: 15 km (9 miles), 6 - 7 hours 
    Ascent: 300 m

    Day 6: Glacier exploration and Return to the Village 

    After having spent the night on the glacier, you must be eager to get to know it up close. This is our mission today. We ski down where we have a perfect view of the ice edge. We then ski even further down to get an up close view. The last strech is to close our circuit and ski back on the hunter's tracks to the village of Kulusuk. 

    Skiing: 19 km (12 miles), 6 - 7 hours 

    Descent : 300 m

    Day 7: DIE 4 Radar Satation

    Being back in town, we still have a day to spend exploring and skiing. We ski to the site of the Cold War radar station Dye 4 at the top of Kulusuk Island, or Kap Dan as it is often referred to by Americans. The radar station has been dismantled but is serves as a great view point. To the west we will see the mountains of the neighbor Ammassalik Island and to the north Aputsiak Island, our great achievment.

    Skiing 17 km (10,5 mi), 5 - 6 hours
    Ascent/ descent: 300 m

    Day 8: Return to Reykjavík

    Take in the last deep breath of the fresh Arctic winter air before heading back home. We have an early afternoon flight back to Iceland. We make the most of it and go by skis the 3 km from the village to the airport - our last ski trip for now. 

  • Equipment List

    For your own well-being and safety we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms! Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 

    However, to cut your costs, piling of things you will not use often and reduce the environmental impact, we do encourage you to try to use what you have, repair old gear when possible and/or borrow what you do not have, before buying new equipment.

    Skiing equipment

    • Cross country skis, with a steal frame for back country skiing
    • Skiing poles
    • Ski boots
    • Skins for your skis. Full length
    • Snow Shovel

    Boots and clothing

    • Thermal underwear shirt & long-johns – preferably wool
    • Thick wool or fleece sweater/jacket
      • Possibly two of different thickness that can be worn together
    • Trousers – thick soft shell or fleece pants
    • Jacket with a good hood – windproof, and breathable
      • Gore-Tex or similar – big enough so that multiple layers of insulation can be worn underneath
    • Insulated jacket, ski-jacket or down jacket that fits over other layers
    • Over-pants – windproof and breathable
      • Gore-Tex or similar – big enough so that multiple layers of insulation can be worn underneath
    • Insulated over pants, e.g. ski-pants
      • An insulated overall is also available on location, free of charge
    • Ski-gloves; 2 – 3 pairs of warm windproof gloves
    • Mittens; Large and well insulated expedition mittens
      • Down, fleece of fiber insulation – wind and waterproof, Consider bringing 2 pairs of different weight
    • Linger gloves, thin fleece or wool gloves that can be worn under mittens or ski gloves
    • Socks – Wool or synthetic socks, thick – few pairs
    • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic
    • Balaclava – fleece or wool that can be used to cover the face as well

    Other gear

    • Backpack – small pack for gear you will need to access during the day
    • Duffel bag – for your gear. Hard suitcases are not permitted
    • Sleeping bag – a warm 3 / 4 season sleeping bag
    • thermal mats
    • Ski-goggles
    • Towel – light weight and packable
    • Sunglasses & sun protection for snow and Ice conditions
    • Change of clothes – e.g. long and short underwear
    • Water container – thermos flask 1L
    • Head lamp
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items
    • Toilette paper
    • Toiletries; toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc.
      • Lip balm and hand cream (not water based), the fatter the better. This will keep your lips and skin healthy in the cold & dry climate. 
      • Make sure these are all biodegradable as it goes directly into the pristine nature 

    Optional gear

    • Insulated boots
      • Sorel or comparable made for extreme cold. Roomy enough to wear thick socks underneath and still have good room for toes
    • Buff or scarf for protecting your neck and face
    • Tent shoes for indoor use and camping 
    • Gaiters
    • Pen knife
    • Earplugs
    • Power bank / Solar Phone Chargers
    • Book
    • Heart-warming spirits

    You can rent 

    • A sleeping bag
    • thermal mat

    Contact us for further information.

  • Map

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