This area of Greenland occasionally experiences katabatic winds called Pitteraqs. These can utterly destroy everything in their path. In 1970, a Pitteraq destroyed Tasiilaq, with wind gusts up to 324 kph. The town was subsequently rebuilt.
Nevertheless, this is a stunning landscape that instantly slipped into my blood and said "you WILL return".
And I am. In September 2013 I will embark on a 10 day solo sea kayak expedition in this awesome landscape. Hiring the same kayak as I used before, I intend to paddle out of Tassilaq harbour on the 30th August, weather permitting, and head up Ammassalik Fjord. On the third day I will enter the massive, iceberg choked Sermilik Fjord and if conditions allow I will paddle down to a hut located 10kms south of the outlying Inuit settlement of Tiniteqilaq.
This fjord, 100kms long and fed by one of the world's most active glaciers, the Helheim Glacier which moves at the staggering speed of 11 kms per annum, adds a huge number of icebergs to the North Atlantic ocean. It has been studied by scientists concerned with global warming and has produced some interesting facts.
The calving face of the Helheim Glacier is 83 metres high, BUT, it extends a further 800 metres down below the water's surface!! That is a staggering depth of ice and gives some sense of scale of this land of giants.
|Sermilik Fjord icebergs|
Last time we camped at nearby Karale Glacier and from a small rise I was able to count 29 glaciers in a 360 degree view!! This is the land of ice and glaciers.
|Moonrise over Apeserajik|
|Sermilik Fjord evening|