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A Night on the Ice Sheet of Greenland

Story by Albatros Travel

Posted: March 13, 2017

Experience a once in a lifetime outdoor adventure on the mythical, magical and mighty Greenland ice sheet. Imagine a clear blue sky where the rays of the midnight sun are reflected by the ice and the crystal blue ice lakes – this is where you will hike and spend the night. While you admire the breathtaking landscape with blue and white colors, valleys, melt water lakes and glacial rivers, you can enjoy a cup of hot coffee or chocolate. When the midnight sun is closest to the horizon, we snuggle up in our warm sleeping bags still processing the fantastic impressions of the first day on the ice sheet!

Camp Ice Cap Summer. Photo by Visit Greenland/Mads Pihl

The ice sheet is an extreme environment, but the area where we will be walking is relatively flat and completely stable. The equipment we use is designed for the harshest conditions although the weather is usually very stable during the summer season. That is why it is a 2-day uncomplicated "expedition" on the inland ice with an overnight at Camp Ice Cap. No doubt an opportunity to experience a unique and "different world" on the ice.

On the day of the expedition we meet at Polar Lodge in Kangerlussuaq around noon and the guide will go through the equipment and prepare you for this exciting experience. We drive in our 4WD vehicle to Point 660 about 37 km east of the town. Point 660 is our starting point for the ice sheet ‘mini-expedition’.

We put on the backpack and head out on the ice. If it’s slippery we will wear crampons and use our hiking poles, but usually we don’t need this equipment. Heading off in an easterly direction gives us about 2 hours of hiking, while we begin to understand what fascinated explorers to cross the ice cap.

After we arrive and get settled into our tents, we will treat ourselves with coffee, tea and something sweet. There will be a "toilet tent" with basic facilities. If the weather permits, we will do a smaller evening hike and enjoy the adventure that unfolds around us. Don’t forget your camera; the ice cap combined with the light from the midnight sun make breathtaking photographs!

Late evening we will prepare our "Travel Lunch" dinner, a surprisingly good freeze dried pre-made meal, where you only add hot water. According to Greenlandic tradition we gather in our large mess tent and share anecdotes. After many impressions, we deserve a good nights sleep in our comfortable & warm sleeping bags.

Day adventure on the ice sheet. Photo by Visit Greenland
Day adventure on the ice sheet. Photo by Visit Greenland/Mads Pihl

On day 2 on the ice an exciting day on the Ice Sheet awaits us. After breakfast in the mess tent it's time to venture out and explore the ice sculptured landscape. Our hike today – depending on weather – will take us towards the Russell Glacier. On our way across the ice fields we will see the many clear melt water streams that are created each year on the inland ice during summer.

As we get closer to the Russell Glacier we will be able to get an impression of the huge crevasses (from a safe distance) that eventually create the calving glacier. We will bring our crampons and hiking poles, we do not use rope since we stay on safe terrain during the entire hike.

Lunch is enjoyed on the hike or in the camp depending on weather conditions. In the afternoon we pack up our camp and head back to the mountainside, where our vehicle awaits us. We will be back in Kangerlussuaq in the evening.

Please note, this voyage is also available in a shorter version of 4 days / 3 nights from Friday to Monday during the mentioned dates and months.

Contact us for more information plus price quotes. From 17 July to 25 August 2017 via Keflavik, Iceland - or before and after those dates via Copenhagen, Denmark.

Air Iceland Flight schedules July-August 2017

To/from Kangerlussuaq (SFJ) operated to/from KEF
21 July – 28 Aug ‘17Dep KEFArr SFJDep SFJArr KEFMonTueWedThuFri
NY5491 / NY549217:2518:1018:5523:25XX