2018 Greenland (2/2): South

Places South Greenland. Narsarsuaq, Aappilattoq, Tasiusaaq, Nanortalik
Time & length August/September 2018, 4 weeks
Partners several
This was a 30 day packrafting adventure. The landscape along the route from Narsarsuaq via Aappilattoq to Tasiusaq is more beautiful than anything else I’ve seen in Greenland so far. We started off as a group of five, then after 14 days two more friends joined us. Together we explored the steep mountains, deep valleys and challenging passes of Greenland’s south.
Our route, roughly: South Greenland

This report is part of my Greenland journey in summer 2018, which started in the Northeast..

I met with the group on August 20 in Narsarsuaq, we were 5 people in total. Jacky from Blue Ice ferried us across the fjord to the mouth of the Black River, where we started our journey. During the first two days, we followed the river upstream and reached the area around Jespersen Glacier, which we explored with packrafts and on foot. The glacier had a big ice cave and we couldn’t resist checking it out in our packrafts.

From there we hiked over the glacier to its southern end. There is a container with beds in the area, which we used as a shelter for two nights because of severe weather.

We paddled down the river for a couple of hours and walked over grass land for a few days, before we reached the base of the most difficult pass of this trip, located HERE. The pass is 1,300 meter high, the boulders up there were covered in fresh snow. That wasn’t a big surprise, after all it was September 1 already. On the other side of the pass we walked over the glacier and later followed the valley down to the fjord.

We tried to cross Sondre Sermilik, but had to turn around in the middle of the fjord – the wind was just too strong and paddling became too risky in the growing waves. So we camped again at the fjord and got picked up by the boat next morning, when two more friends came with a water taxi to join our trip.

With the boat also came a resupply – we were on the move for 14 days at that time, now we received food for 16 more days.

As a group of 7, we stayed in the near wood shed for a night and continued our way south the next morning. We hiked over a pass and paddled the Tasermiut fjord to Mt. Ketil, where we explored the surrounding valleys for a couple of days.

After the first two weeks had been pretty rainy and windy, the weather now changed to warm, sunny days and cold, starlit nights. We hiked through Klosterdalen, over a pass and reached the next fjord, from where we spend a few days exploring several places in the area around Aappilattoq.

We didn’t go directly from Aappilattoq to Tasiusaq, but took a little detour through another valley and over a 700 m pass. We stayed on a saddle for a couple of days and waited for the snowfall to stop, before we continued down to the fjord and all the way to Tasiusaq. Once we arrived in the village, we paid a fisherman to bring us to Nanortalik. On September 21 we were back in Narsarsuaq and celebrated our successful journey accordingly.