Ski Touring Expedition:
South Liverpool Land
Explore the stunning valleys of Sødal and Kalkdal in central Liverpool Land on this ski touring expedition in Greenland. As well as skiing a 50km traverse route through the valleys and over the Bjerring Pederson ice field, you’ll have the chance to make ski ascents and descents of rarely climbed peaks. Views stretch down to the icebergs of the stunning east coast. April often gives perfect powder in the mountains, making skiing down to sea level a pleasure.
We’ll begin the expedition with a short snowmobile journey from Constable Point over the frozen Hurry Fjord to the head of the Kalkdal Valley. From here, we’ll ski east up Kalkdal, hauling our equipment in pulk sleds. The journey will take us to the coastal east end of Kalkdal, where there’s the opportunity to explore Horsens Fjord and its icebergs. From a camp at the toe of the glacier, we’ll ski up and over the Bjerring Pederson icefield, dropping close to sea level again at the confluence of the two glaciers. This will lead us into the Sødal valley, where we will be picked up by snowmobile and return to base.
Along the way, there will be the chance to ascend several ski mountaineering peaks, descending long ski runs if conditions allow. These peaks are rarely climbed and there are no guidebooks or established routes in the area.
Expect ski days of 5 to 8 hours. Some days will be spent moving camp and hauling your equipment in pulks. These will then be used as base camps for mountain ascents, giving you the chance to travel light for the day with just a backpack. When close to the coast, expect to alternate ‘bear watch’ shifts throughout the night to protect your group from bear encounters.
Early April in Liverpool Land can mean overnight temperatures down to -30°C, with daytime highs usually around -15°C. These temperatures often provide perfect powder snow for skiing. Storms can blow through on occasion, meaning you may need to sit out some bad weather in your tent.
Day 1: Team meets in Akureyri, Iceland for the flight to Constable Point. Here you will be greeted by GELCO staff.
Day 2: A morning of training and kit checks at Constable Point will enable all participants to feel prepared for the adventure ahead. Afternoon snowmobile transport to the head of Kalkdal Valley.
Days 3 – 13: Travel 50km to Sodal Valley, climbing peaks along the way.
Day 14: Snowmobile pick up and transport to Constable Point.
Day 15: Return flight to Iceland.
Participants should be fit and capable of hauling moderate loads for 6-8 hour days. You should be fit enough to carry out the equivalent of 6-8 hour mountain walking days and have no significant knee or back problems.
Previous experience of ski touring is essential, though this can have been on day or hut-to-hut trips. You should be competent in the use of touring skis and skins, and familiar with avalanche rescue equipment and procedures. Previous glacier travel experience is not required. Participants should be intermediate to advanced level downhill skiers, able to ski red/black runs in variable conditions.
Prior camping experience is essential, but full training will be given in the use of expedition tents and multifuel stoves. You will be required to cook for yourself, and to pitch your own tent at each camp. Winter/glacier camping experience is not needed.