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Date: 17 Aug 2018 22:16:32
Title: Infinity and beyond

69:47.1N 19:01.1W

Thick cloud and fog sapped enthusiasm for any shore operations Thursday morning, though, gradually, as a few small breaks in the clouds came and went, a little excitement was generated.  With much to do aboard, and a few tired legs amongst us too, Mike and Giles were given shore leave with the others kindly shouldering the bulk of the re-stowing and other preparations for the delivery back to Iceland.

After a drop off by Ash we shouldered our packs, laden with skis as well as the usual essentials, and hiked along a soft mossy terrace just above the river, leading towards an impressive waterfall.  Before reaching this we were able to take the weight from our backs and set off up a side valley on the skis, still through low cloud but hopeful of an improvement.

Some time later, after following the shore of the river and lake, crossing a smaller tributary and scrambling over the obligatory pile of rocky blocks, forming the glacial moraine, now so familiar to all our Greenland excursions, we arrived upon a tongue of glacier with unbroken skiing beside a ridge that led away from us into the distance.  We hoped to be able to ski back along the snowy slopes above this ridge in due course to a summit above us.

The low, foggy, clouds broke up as we progressed along the glacier leaving bright sunshine with high wispy cirrus clouds far above and seemingly infinite views across the snowfields around us.  Infinite is certainly how the glacier felt to us as it seemed to lengthen before us in an interminable uphill slog to the horizon.

Finally we reached the end of the rocky ridge and were able to work our way back and around, onto the glaciated rise, all the while the surroundings feeling as arctic in character as any other journey we could remember so far, with the uncanny silence (save the waterfall nearby which strangely sounds very similar to distant ‘road-noise’) and remarkable clarity of light (which is a little more charming).

Gaining height we finally reached the snowy summit of the ice-cap of Liverpool Land, this region of Greenland, and noted among the phenomenal views that we were almost as high as the now distant peak of our original intentions.  With views that stretched over 50 miles in almost every direction we enjoyed the scenery for a while before dismissing our original objective in favour of the ski back to the boat.

The initial section of glacier was like having a mile wide piste all to ourselves and we swooshed down the vertical metres far more quickly than we’d plodded up them.   A short uphill and traverse over the moraine and around a snowy bowl led us to a point where we could ski down again, all the way to the river, essentially summit to sea skiing.  Our tired feet were glad of the soft mossy surface for the walk back to the beach and the welcome aboard to the others and offering of a cold beer.

After final preparations this morning, we are now sailing south-east, away from the Greenland coast with a decent, and amazingly, following breeze, with Husavik, Iceland in our sights.

Views to infinity across the ice cap
Mike skiing the mile wide piste
Returning to the anchorage




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