GREENLAND DOGSLED EXPEDITION
Limited Group Size: 5
EXPLORE THE HIGH NORTH WITH THE INNUIT
Embark on this unforgettable journey deep into one of the greatest arctic wildernesses on earth with the Tunuumi of Greenland and gain a deep insight into an ancient culture and land. In the far north climb on board your dogsled with traditional Innuit dog sledders. This traditional Tunuumi journey is adventure in its purist form – refined over many generations through the millennia. Your sledding route takes you deep into East Greenland through an immense wild sanctuary into another world. You encounter a land dominated by majestic frozen Fjords banded by snow-covered mountains. And as night approaches you are dazzled by nature’s most spectacular light show – the Aurora Borealis.
Dog sledding is a seasonal adventure. Every year when the sea freezes over and the snowfall deepens across the land we invite you on a wild journey where you step into a truly unique experience, discovering an ancient way of life guided by the Innuit of Greenland.
A VAST AND WILD SANCTUARY
East Greenland is a vast and wild sanctuary mostly isolated from the outside world by extensive sea ice. It is here where the Tunuumi community continue a millennia-old tradition of Innuit dog sledding, an ancient way of life that has carried this community across the arctic. When the sea freezes over and the vast land is buried deep in snow we set out on this wild adventure. We travel with only five adventurers on this trip. You learn and experience an amazing way of life on a multi-day journey along ancient routes, deep into the frozen fjordlands, between glaciers, icebergs, and spectacular fjords, while moving in time with the deep rhythms of the season, land and ice.
LAND AND SEA OF ICE
Our journey takes us through a pristine arctic haven of frozen fjords, icebergs, glaciers, mountains and night-time skies illuminated by the Aurora Borealis. On our adventure you are fully immersed in our experience of a wild and dynamic arctic environment.
From the tiny, isolated village of Kulusuk, we explore a vast region of fjords and mountains completely dominated by snow and ice. The scale is humbling – you could sled for months without reaching another village. We spend many hours out on the ice, sometimes heading inland to cross islands by low passes that cut between alpine summits. The land is heavily glaciated – in places reaching the saltwater of the fjords in massive calving faces. Icebergs, frozen until their break-up in spring, tower over our path. We are always watchful for the animals that are at home here - arctic fox, snow buntings, ptarmigan, cormorants, ravens, ringed seals, with rare sightings of polar bears, narwhal and gyrfalcon. At night, the sky is often illuminated by flowing threads of the Aurora Borealis stretching east to west.
A DIFFERENT WAY OF LIFE
After flying into the snow strip from Reykjavik, Iceland, we spend the first afternoon exploring Kulusuk village and checking your gear before settling into our lodge for the night. Then we meet the dogs and undertake a shorter journey to the calving face of our local glacier – a chance to fine-tune clothing and begin to learn the patterns of ice-travel. We spend another night at the lodge, checking forecasts and packing bags. The next day, with sleds loaded and packs of excited dogs eager to run, we leave the village by the ice of the frozen bay.
NORTH INTO THE FROZEN FJORDLANDS
We will be undertaking a traditional Tunuumi dog sled journey. Their deep perception of ice and weather conditions, honed over many years, will set our course as we travel north across the frozen sea. Travelling two to a sled with each musher, you will begin the long process of learning to work with our dogs, from the fan traces we use (suited to wide expanses of sea ice), to the calls and steering of the sled. Reliance on each other is fundamental to life here and the bond between musher and pack, developed over many years, is powerful. Prepare for cold clear days, but also hard winds and snow. We will spend the first and last night at our lodge in Kulusuk, with 6 nights camping in the arctic wilderness in huts or tents along the way.
Favorable ice conditions may allow us to reach the halibut fishing grounds, and in exceptional conditions the village of Sermiligaq, the last outpost on this coast for 800km. Subsistence hunting and dog sledding are fundamental to Tunuumi culture – the dogs fed on the seals that are taken on sledding trips, propelling a way of life, thousands of years old. If conditions allow, we will hunt for ringed seal whilst out on the ice.
Each night we set up camp, with thick sleeping bags keeping us warm in robust tents as we melt snow to eat and drink while telling stories and enjoying life out on the ice. We will likely spend at least one night gathered around the big stove of our cabin, situated on a wild peninsula below a high glacier.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Helen Keller
RETURN TO KULUSUK
After five days out, our journey takes us back to Kulusuk for hot showers and home-cooked meals. After only a week on this immersive experience in this ancient culture and the other-worldly arctic environment, the warmth of this tiny community takes on a special significance. Time allowing, we always try to visit our local museum, an impressive family collection that offers further insight into the Tunuumi people.
After one last night at the lodge, we return to the snow strip and the plane that flies us out over the Denmark Strait back to Iceland.
THE LODGE KULUSUK
The lodge is a traditional wooden cabin built by our Greenland partners over the years and is nestled in the tiny Innuit village of Kulusuk, home to 200 people.
A comfortable and practical base to explore East Greenland, the lodge provides cabin bedrooms, running water, hot showers, and flushing toilets, a rare thing in this cold climate. There’s a drying area for your gear, a sitting room heated by a stove and a big table we all gather around each evening. Cut off by sea ice six months of the year, the stores and freezers are well supplied to provide a plentiful and varied menu. Whenever possible, we eat locally caught fish including salmon, arctic char, cod, and halibut.
We have worked hard to make this trip accessible to anyone looking for adventure and a deep insight into the pristine wilderness and culture of this arctic coastline. If you have previous experience of cold-weather conditions and camping, it will help, but is not essential. Travelling with experts, you’ll have a lot of opportunities to learn and refine the many skills essential to travelling in this environment. A good level of fitness will allow you to get the most out of the trip, whether it’s helping pack the loads, maneuver the sleds or set up camp.
If you have any questions as to whether this trip is suitable for you, just give us a call: +1.775.833.9700 • 1.800.231.1919
CONDITIONS & EQUIPMENT
We will be travelling in arctic conditions. These can range from cold, still days of sun to blizzards. Equipment choice makes all the difference to being comfortable here. We provide warm snowsuits, down jackets, mitts, thick sleeping bags and mats. You will receive a detailed kit list of additional equipment to help you prepare.
GETTING TO GREENLAND
While the lodge in East Greenland is extremely remote, Kulusuk is served by a regular scheduled turbo prop-plane flight of around 1 hr 40 mins from Reykjavik, Iceland. We can arrange your air tickets. Many folks overnight in Reykjavik en route, exploring the geothermal pools and vibrant scene of this small northern capital.
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Limited Group Size: 5