GREENLAND FJORDS TREK
WHAT TO EXPECT
The spirit of adventure is on fire on our trek through the magnificent fjords of Greenland, because like many early explorers, you travel where there are no people and no trails. With each step you soak up the wilderness, forging a path where the only footsteps you see are those of your guides. Along your journey you witness the power of the Arctic in full force. Wildflowers and bold rock formations are your only neighbors, standing tall among the towering glaciers and monstrous ice flows. As you breathe deeply you take in the sweet smell of the Arctic air. You adventure will create memories you will feast on for the rest of your life.
Discovering areas only accessible by small boat, you trek in a small group. One of our highly experienced guides leads your journey, taking you back to the basics of adventure. You trek with the peace of mind of knowing that you’re traveling in Tusker’s renowned safety net. Traveling in a smaller intimate group carries a different vibe than on trek with dozens of support members. There’s a solitude and tranquility that meshes perfectly with the serene nature of the Arctic, allowing your spirit of discovery to come alive. You feel a kinship with the land, a kinship that lasts a lifetime.
Your head guide is Rich Manterfield, an Englishman from Sheffield. After college, he took a trip to Italy’s Dolomites to guide for 6 months and stayed there for 7 years. Enchanted by the beauty of the mountains, he knew he needed something much wilder. So, he departed for Greenland and has never left.
Rich is a qualified UIMLA International Mountain Leader, and has been guiding wilderness treks and dog sled expeditions across Greenland for years. It is one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth. It is one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth. He feels totally at home under the sun setting over Greenland’s silent wilderness, or under the Aurora Borealis doing its sky dance above a remote camp in the wild. Rich will show you where to catch trout and find clams to add to delicious dinners. Depending on the size of the group, Rich will be accompanied by an assistant guide.
MEALS ON THE TREK
It’s easy to forget that Greenland is an island because it is so vast. Denmark is the primary source for fresh food, and it must come by plane or ship. For this reason, we plan our meals carefully, as it has to travel by boat and backpack. In true expedition style, we forage for wild blueberries, wild trout, clams and mussels during the journey.
Your journey begins at the lodge in Kulusuk where we prepare savory meals that fuel you for the first day of trekking. During the days we pack a simple lunch to keep us energized. Mornings and evenings you enjoy hot tasty meals, with everyone pitching in with meal prep. Breakfast is usually porridge, granola or pancakes for some simple carbs fuel to get you started, while dinner can be pasta and a lentil dahl, freshly caught trout, mussels, clams, potatoes and rice. There’s nothing like a hot, delicious meal to keep you warm next to one of Greenland’s icy fjords.
"Summer nights in Greenland are like nothing you have ever seen. It’s never completely dark, with the midnight sun low on the horizon, creating an eerie and magical sensation. And if you’re lucky, you’ll have front row seats to most wonderful light show in the universe, the Aurora Borealis’ beautiful sky dance.”
LODGING IN KULUSUK
You spend your first and last night in the picturesque town of Kulusuk, a traditional Greenlandic village where hunting and fishing are the primary means of survival for its 250 residents. Many people in the village are highly skilled artists, so you have a chance to discover some amazing hand carved Tupilak souvenirs to take home.
LODGING ON THE TREK
During the trek you’ll be sleeping in our Mountain Hardwear 4-season tents. We also set up a large dining tent for use during bad weather. As we run this trek in a traditional expedition style, all trip members help out with carrying gear from the boat-drop to our campsite, then setting up camp and striking the next morning. All good, exciting fun! And the best part is unzipping your tent door in the morning and having the views of the fjords and ice flows exploding right in front of you.
TRAVEL BY BOAT
Boats are an important part of trek support. We use them to get to hard-to-reach places, and also for approaching glaciers. We also use a boat to transport all our gear from one campsite to the next. Each morning we strike camp, pack everything up and leave it by shore for our boat support crew to collect. Start times may vary because some of our route sections are only exposed during low tides. On foot you carry just your essentials, which makes for a light and comfortable daypack, so your focus is on enjoying the trek, not humping heavy gear. When you arrive at your next camp, everyone chips in.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Helen Keller
Navigating Greenland is pretty straightforward – you use your own two feet and an occasional boat. A well fitted daypack and a great pair of comfortable boots are your best friends. We’ve got decades of experience, and we’ll share some great boot advice with you before the trek. Next on the list is clothing layers and pack selection. Layering is the best way of dressing for the Arctic climate, even in the summer months. This method uses various pieces of clothing that each serve a distinct purpose; warmth, cooling, drying, and waterproofing. Your day pack will carry your layers, lunch, some snacks and personal items. If you don’t have any experience layering, finding the right boots or packing for your journey, we’re here to guide you.
Polar bears are extremely rare along the route we take. So much so, that spotting one becomes news that is passed between boating crews and trekking companies, allowing us to know where they are in advance. The bears typically appear as specks in the distance, however random polar bear encounters are a possibility. Standard practice when camping in Greenland is to rotate shifts amongst the group taking “bear watch” at night for safety. Remember you’re near the Arctic Circle so daylight hours are very long (18 hours) and nighttime only lasts for a few hours. Your guide also carries a rifle as a deterrent.
CHANGES IN WEATHER
Even in the best season we’ve learned the importance of backup plans for backup plans. The key to a successful expedition is flexibility and the ability to adapt to ever changing conditions. So, as you trek through Greenland’s amazing wilderness, it’s best to be prepared for changes in weather and sea-ice conditions. Adaptability to weather is part of the challenge, and this is the authenticity that you’d expect from an Arctic expedition. We are accustomed to adjusting to these changes and may alter our routes, if necessary, leaning on the side of caution and safety.
HEALTH and SAFETY
We all know that trekking in the wilderness has inherent risks, and to mitigate the risks you need a guiding team that is knowledgeable, experienced, and prepared. We’ve developed our safety protocols and guide training from our 45 years of leading treks in remote locations such as Africa, Greenland, Nepal, Patagonia, Bhutan, Mongolia, Everest Base Camp and Mount Kilimanjaro. This peace of mind is essential to the enjoyment of your trek.
PROFESSIONAL SAFETY ALLIANCES
All our guides are trained High Altitude First Responders or certified UIMLA International Mountain Leaders, with decades of remote expedition guiding experience. Even in the best climbing season we’ve learned the importance of having protocols in place for emergencies. Tusker has been backed up by Ripcord for many years. In addition to providing emergency air evacuation, Ripcord has a team of emergency doctors with whom we consult from the field by satellite phone during emergencies. Also, during our 45 years in adventure travel we have established enduring global alliances with the following professional organizations:
NEXT • 3 of 4
Learn about the route.