Ski touring in Greenland : what to expect ?
The west coast of Greenland offers most of what any skiers can dream of, and it all come in size XL !
Whatever you are used to, get ready : this is next level...
In Greenland, we'll ski mostly on glaciers.
They are all over the place, from the huge inlandsis that we will sometimes contemplate from a peak, to the glaciers carving their way to the ocean on the slopes of the fjords. These glaciers are often moderately steep and overlooked by steeper couloirs, a great combination to fulfill all skiers wishes.
The region we'll be exploring, from Maniitsoq in the south to Sisimiut in the north is one of the best suited for ski touring, with fjords easily giving boat acces to the skiing. No long flat walks before hitting the slopes, it all starts close to the shore.
Depending on the group and the conditions, we'll be able to go for summits from 1000 to 1800m above sea level, and we'll ski mellow summits, huge bowls or couloirs.
Climate & Snow :
There is no Gulf Stream in Greenland, and with the ocean cooling the temperatures you can expect a longer ski season than at the same latitude in Europe.
At 65 degrees north, the winters are long and we will ski cold snow until late May.
In early June, when the Norwegian coast is already getting warm, the temperatures in West Greenland are still oscillating around 0, and it becomes then possible to ski both powder and corn !
During our expedition, we'll be between 65° and 67° North, so almost precisely on the arctic circle.
In late April the days will already be very long, with a few hours of twilight that will shrink day after day until mid june when the midnight sun comes.
This season is great for ski touring with the long days giving us many opportunities to make the best out of the weather.
The challenge will be to adjust to a whole new rythm. No need for "alpine starts" at 5am...but we might be out skiing late in the evenings !