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15-day guided backcountry skiing expedition in Schweitzer Land

Matt, a local IFMGA mountain guide invites you to a traverse of the massively glaciated Schweizerland Alps. An extraordinary expedition in East Greenland involving sled hauling by ski, dog sleds, remote huts, camping & tiny Inuit villages.

Mountain RangeSchweizerland Alps
Duration15 days
Offer periodMar, Apr
Type of tripNot specified

Description

Welcome to a supreme ski traverse in the Schweizerland Alps! Please let me invite you to a guided ski expedition in East Greenland for 15 unforgettable days. 

This ski expedition takes place in one of the wildest arctic places of the world. Where you look you will find white sceneries: glaciers, ice field, snow-capped mountains and even a frozen sea. We will traverse among the Greenland’s fjords by sledding as well as by skiing.

At nights, we’ll set up our camps in different wild areas, enjoying pure nature. The 2-3 persons tents I provide are really stable and secure against bad weather. We may need to use some huts located in the high Schweizerland Alps and in the north of Kulusuk.

While following the great glaciers throughout the mountains of the Schweizerland Alps, the 175-kilometer route will lead us to places extremely seldom-visited.

After such a unique traverse among the Greenlandic frozen sea, its glaciers, cols and iced lakes, we will finally ski back. The return will be across the wonderful fjord lands to reach the Kulusuk village again.

Sledges

Each member of the team will tow a sled. It is ideal for carrying the equipment for trips of several weeks. If the snow is soft, we can take turns to break the road so that we can help the rest of the team to progress.

Skis

During this ski expedition in Greenland you can use Pirhuk’s Nordic skis or bring your own ones. I strongly recommend either Nordic “fjell ski” or light alpine skis with comfortable boots for low temperatures.

Please find at the end of this description more details about the day-by-day itinerary of this trip.

I usualy organize this ski traverse once a year, in March / April. You can join the yearly tour or set up your own.

And if you want further information about next departures or booking process do not hesitate to contact me right now. It will be a honour for me, as a local guide, to lead this ski expedition in the Schweizerland Alps.

More info

- Please note that East Greenland is an extremely wild frontier region, covering a huge area with little infrastructure. Sea ice and snow conditions can change on a daily basis so flexibility in the plan is essential. - Participants should be familiar with cold weather camping, nordic or alpine ski touring (low-angle) and up to 8 hours ski days for 12 days - Included in the price : * Return flights: Reykjavik, Iceland - Kulusuk, East Greenland * Baggage transfers: snowstrip - village * 3 nights' sleeping bag accommodation in Kulusuk (incl. evening meal & breakfast) * Use of pulks, pulk bags and rope traces * Asnes nordic skis, skins and poles * Expedition equipment, mountain tents and bear deterrents * Expedition food & fuel * Weather updates and remote support services * Dual frequency satellite beacon, Iridium satellite phone (calls can be made for £2.50/min) * My guiding services (IFMGA Mountain Guide) - Not included in the price : * International return flights from your home country to Iceland * Any accommodation required in Reykjavik, Iceland during transit * Expedition/travel insurance * Personal expedition & ski equipment * Rental equipment costs * Any extra expenses due to unforeseen circumstances (eg. delayed flights)

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Photos


Itinerary

Day 1: STARTING POINT

Fly from Reykjavik to Kulusuk, East Greenland.  While your baggage is taken by snowmobile, we will walk to the village.  We will spend the afternoon checking the equipment and exploring the area.  Overnight staying in a mountain hut (simple sleeping bag accommodation in a typical Greenlandic hut).

Day 2: FIRST DOG SLED RIDE

We will meet the dog sled teams on the frozen bay in front of the village.  With all the kit loaded, we will set off north into the fjord lands. Our progress will depend on snow conditions and wheather. Finally, we will set up the camp, letting the dog sleds return to the village

Day 3: ACCLIMATIZATION SKI

First day skiing and pulling sledges. Working north over a frozen fjord, we’ll spend the day getting used to systems and tweaking equipment. Travelling on smooth sea ice, the way is easy. Overnight staying on an island.

Day 4: CROSSING FROZEN FJORDS

A crossing of a fjord is the last to freeze. Once we cross it, we enter to a wide river valley and follow this north to the glacier front. That is why we gain height to our first glacier camp.

Day 5: GLACIER LANDS

We leave the campsite behind in direction to a col that will show as the first of the really huge inland glaciers. Tonight we may stay in the one and only mountain hut in this region.  Built as a starting-out point for mountaineers, there’s a big stove and even beds!

Day 6: ENTERING IN THE SCHWEIZERLAND ALPS

Leaving the hut and skiing north on a relatively flat glacier that leads to vast glacial plateau, the meeting point of 5 massive glaciers.  At this point, we’ll be surrounded by the spires of the Schweizerland range. Camp will be set up here.

Day 7: KEEP CROSSING GLACIERS

Today we will enter a cirque of peaks to make a crossing of a low col.  The glaciers at this time of year are buried in a deep layer of winter snow, making problems with crevasses less likely. I will carefully assess conditions and use a rope to protect the team as necessary.

Day 8: SEA ICE

One day of glacier travel, mostly gently downhill, to gain the sea ice of the fjords again.  Tonight we may stay in a simple hut.

Day 9: REST DAY AT THE HUT

Day 10: MORE FJORDS!

Traverse the sea ice of a fjord southwards, getting closer to the ocean.  We’ll likely start meeting icebergs at this point.

Day 11: FOLLOWING THE SAFEST ROUTES

Following the fjord system south, we enter a bay of islands. This area is known for strong currents, affecting the quality of the ice.  We’ll follow the safe routes we’ve come to know over the years. Overnight camp on an island with views out to the ocean.

Day 12: FROZEN LAKES TO CROSS

We will cross several sections of land today, involving travelling on frozen lakes and crossing low cols.  We camp below a glacier tonight.

Day 13: RETURN TO KULUSUK

Gaining height up a valley to reach a col and on to the glacier.  A low-angle descent leads to the sea ice and calving face of the glacier.  Over the bay to return to Kulusuk village.

Day 14: EXTRA DAY

Contingency day in case of weather delays.

Day 15: ENDING POINT

A flight from Kulusuk back over the Denmark Strait to Iceland.   Clear weather allows one last glimpse of the mountainous wilderness we’ve just spent the last weeks skiing.  A chance to explore a very different environment, the bars and restaurants of Iceland’s capital city.


About the guide

guide profile img

IFMGA/UIAGM high mountain guide, based in Kulusuk, East Greenland.

I am from Scotland, where I grew up between the hills and kayaking. My first trip to Greenland was at 19 and it took me no time at all to fall in love with the place. I was on a mountaineering expedition, and it was the first of more than 25 I've done so far. I have skied and climbed in many places around the world, but Eastern Greenland remains my favourite. I feel like home in its glaciers, mountains and fjords.
You may think it's boring to go so many times to the same place. Not at all! The land is huge and there are endless possibilities. My trips have included everything: kayaking in the fjords, sailing to remote corners, dog-sledding to reach virgin slopes...
My passion is the mountains, which is why I specialized in different disciplines over time. Ice climbing, telemark and exploratory alpinism are some of them. I particularly love ski mountaineering and free skiing.
The motivation behind it all is to live the best adventures in stunning and wild places, and to share them with people that love this as well.


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Prices per person

Group of 1

GBP 3883 each

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Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Accommodation

• Transport during the trip

• Luggage transfer during the trip

• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


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