August 11 - 21, 2020
August 10 - 20, 2021
$4,650 - $5,480 ~ 6 to 12 members
Local flight Iceland-Greenland – $920
Tusker has designed this truly exciting trek that explores the spectacular terrain on Kulusuk Island, on Greenland’s remote east coast.
It is really adventurous and wild. We do not follow other people or any established paths.
There are a few non-technical climbs on the trek (the greatest ascent in a day is 800-m/2,600-ft.) and the ground undulates constantly, so we’re dropping into small gullies and then climbing back up over headlands.
We plan to go to Sermilik fjord – where some of the fastest moving glaciers in the northern hemisphere empty their ice into the fjord. Jammed full of icebergs, it’s an amazing sight.
We trek through a stunning valley which connects the Ammassalik Fjord and the Bay of Tuno, where we camp for the evening. The bay is shallow and calm and the early mornings here can be spectacular, with the mirror-like surface of the water reflecting a perfect silhouette of the mountains on the far side.
Then we’ll take boats to the small village of Kummiut, a journey of about an hour. We then follow a stretch of coastline up to another area of major calving glaciers – it'll blow your mind.
You will need to spend the night of August 10 in Reykjavik, Iceland as flights to Greenland do not connect.
On August 11, fly from Reykjavik, Iceland to Kulusuk, East Greenland. It's a spectacular flight over the icebergs of the Denmark Strait, giving expansive views of Greenland’s coast and the pack ice as you get closer. We meet our guides at the airport outside the village for the 30 minute walk to the lodge, in the heart of Kulusuk. In the afternoon we’ll do a gear check and pack bags to be ready for our departure the next morning.
We take a walk around the village to stretch our legs. There are often beautiful sunsets, and if the weather is good we'll hike up one of the small hills in the village to watch the sun set over the mountains. Overnight at our lodge in Kulusuk.
Hiking Distance: 10 Miles
In the morning we meet the boats at the village harbor for the journey to the start of the trek, which takes about 90 minutes. The boat trip is spectacular down Ammassalik Fjord, one of the major waterways in the area, and our access to the mountains which lie to the north.
Leaving the boats with our camp equipment, we follow a broad river valley past the head of a narrow fjord.
From here we get our first glimpse of the ice cap.
Continuing north past a large lake, often teeming with arctic char, we cross a broad, shallow stream before the last stretch of hiking to reach a beautiful bay looking out across Sermilik Fjord to the ice cap beyond.
We spend our first night in the wild here, listening to the cracking and grinding of the icebergs out in the fjord.
Hiking Distance: 9 Miles
The next stretch of the trek takes us further north along the shores of Sermilik Fjord to reach the Ilivnera Valley, which heads back inland. This is our route for the following day.
Following the rugged coast we cross a wide sandy bay, which often has stranded icebergs on the beach.
Timing is key here as we aim to cross the wide bay close to low tide, in order to maximize the distance on the easy terrain. There are a number of stunning camp sites for us to choose from near the opening of the Ilivnera Valley.
Hiking Distance: 11 Miles
Heading inland up the beautiful broad Ilivnera Valley strewn with wildflowers, we’re once again surrounded by spectacular mountains.
Making our way to a col at the head of the valley, we then begin our descent back to sea level.
The valley is narrower here and forces us to cross a stream before making our way down the far side to reach the valley floor, where the stream, now wider and shallower, leads down to the fjord.
The fjord is shallow here and we make our way down the coast a short way to a point where the boats can come in to meet us. A short boat ride takes us to Tasiilaq Fjord and our camp for the evening.
Hiking Distance: 7 Miles
Today sees us climb gently into a lush valley which provides the link between Ammassalik Fjord and the bay of Tuno, where we make camp for the evening.
The bay is shallow and calm and the early mornings are usually stunning, with the mirror-like surface of the water reflecting the silhouette of the mountains on the far side.
This involves hiking a short section on dry glacier – normally very straightforward. If conditions on the glacier are not suitable, we’ll take an alternative route to reach the camp.
There are a few places along the way to collect mussels for dinner, if we can time it with low tide.
Hiking Distance: 7 Miles
After breakfast, we pack up camp and load up the boat. Our route today takes us across a wide sandy delta formed by the outflow from the major glacier systems high above us.
After a number of stream crossings, we get back onto dry land, and tackle a succession of small ascents and descents, following the coast. We finish the day in Ikateq, on the lookout for ripe blueberries which grow here on the south facing slopes.
Hiking Distance: 8 Miles
We start our day crossing a stream which flows from a small lake. It is often teeming with arctic char. Once across, we continue for north-east along the valley, just above the level of the fjord.
Crossing another stream, we now take to the beach, which offers us an easy hike.
Further along, the way is barred by a rock buttress protruding into the fjord. Here we’re forced to climb up the hillside a short way before descending and following easier angled terrain to reach our campsite in a small bay looking south toward the Denmark Strait.
We start the day early so that we can time the second part of today’s trek to coincide with low tide.
Hiking Distance: 6 Miles
The valley above our camp is strewn with huge boulders, once part of the impressive peaks which tower over us.
We follow the stream uphill before turning away to make a steep climb up to a col.
From here, the views to the north open up, giving us our first glimpse of the huge calving face of a nearby glacier. Now we traverse, with a series of ascents and descents leading us past a small waterfall to a rocky ridge.
The view only gets better, as we look out over numerous glaciers and towering alpine spires. Descending past some small lakes, we eventually hike back down to sea level and our campsite on the shore.
Hiking Distance: 5 Miles
Today we leave the camp standing, make a relaxed start and take our time. We hike along the coastline in sight of several big glaciers. It’s an opportunity for us to relish the extraordinary environment.
As we hike, we hear the constant rumble of the glaciers pushing toward the ocean. We then turn inland slightly to climb a low peak, which gives views into the Schweizerland Alps, a system of major glaciers and large alpine peaks. We return to camp.
Hiking Distance: 5 Miles
After breaking camp, the boat arrives to transfer us across the fjord toward the Knud Rasmussen glacier. We spend the day hiking along the shoreline beneath the snouts of glaciers toward the calving face of the glacier, 295-ft. high 1.8-mile wide wall of ice.
We can hike to within a quarter mile of the face, where the scale of the ice is awe-inspiring.
We spend time taking it in, then take the boats for the two-hour journey back to Kulusuk.
In the morning before the flight out, there’ll be a last opportunity to explore the village and hopefully take a look at the little museum in Kulusuk.
Run by a local family, there are some fascinating pieces of clothing and traditional hunting equipment. It’s open by appointment, and the family who runs it also teach full time in the village school, so visits have to fit around their schedule.
Fly from Kulusuk to Reykjavik City Airport. Overnight in Reykjavik.
(Not included in the cost.)