Trekking Greenland – Unplugged Wilderness Day 9

Today I had to confront the logistical challenge that I’d been putting off addressing ever since I signed up for the Unplugged Wilderness Trek.  We were going to spend the next 2 nights at the Tasiilaq Mountain Hut and would need to take whatever personal items we needed for 2 nights, plus our sleeping bags and our share of communal food for 2 days.  

Now as much as I LOVE my Lowepro Fastpack 250 camera bag (I’m currently on my 3rd one in 10 years – they get a lot of use!), it is designed for day hikes, not overnights.  And while I can fit my Fujifilm XT-1 (seriously awesome camera for travel photography) + 4 lenses + flash + food for a day + warm clothing + rainjacket (which tends to hang off the side), it most certainly cannot fit my -12 degree rated sleeping bag!

So Day 9 started with me figuring out how to attach everything to the outside of the bag.  In the end, and thanks to a loan of the rope that usually tied our cooking pots up, I managed to cobble something together that worked – my sleeping bag and warm clothes jammed into a dry-bag which was strapped to the top of the bag.

The conversation at breakfast started off with a discussion of what each person would choose as their superpower.  The only rule was it had to be a self-contained superpower – ie it could not involve influencing another person’s decisions.  This was a no-brainer for me and I (and Mathilde) immediately came up with teleportation.   Soaking wet and freezing cold after Day 4’s hike?  No worries at all!  Teleport home to mum and dad, say a quick g’day, have a hot shower, change clothes, and teleport back to camp nice and warm and dry, and ready for hot chocolate (actually, we’d run out of hot chocolate by Day 6, I would have bought some more back with me) and more great conversation.  Done!

Given this discussion, I have absolutely no idea at all how we ended up forgetting to brew the Iceland Moss (Cetraria Islandica) that Maxime collected yesterday into the tea that would actually grant us these superpowers … but somehow we did!  Perhaps it was due to the evolution of the discussion into the joys of Australian music and the the dulcet tones of 1990s Kylie Minogue (I hate “The Locomotion“!) emanating from Stephane’s extremely eclectic mix of music on his phone!

After breakfast, we packed everything into the cook/dining tent, took on board our share of the food for the next 2 days (laptop compartments in camera bags have multiple uses.  Thank goodness dry trekking food is flat!), and started hiking up Tasilap Kua Valley towards the “The Triplets“.

Blue skies overseeing the Tasilap Kua Valley and "The Triplets" that mark the end of the Tasiilaq Fjord

We stopped for lunch in an area that was gorgeous and surprisingly green and had spectacular views to the other side of the valley

Bright green grass beside the river that runs through the Tasilap Kua Valley with views to impressive mountains

It was very unusual to see such bright green after more than a week of rock and ice

as well as boulders for Maxime and Filip to play with (both are boulderers).  Actually, come to think of it, maybe that’s precisely why we stopped here … 😉

Maxime and Filip bouldering at our lunch stop in the Tasilap Kua Valley

They were having lots of fun

It also had a great view of where we were heading.  The Tasiilaq Mountain Hut is located up the ridge that borders the glacier on the left hand side (viewed in the image below) and around the back of the “small” hills.

View from the valley up the glacier leading to Tasiilaq Mountain Hut

After lunch, we started climbing, picking our way amongst the rocks and boulders of the moraine.

My trekking companions hiking up the glacial morraine on the way to Tasiilaq Mountain Hut with the Tasiilap Kua Valley below

The views got better and better as we climbed higher

It is a spectacular hike beside the glacier 

Maxime and I looking back towards our trekking companions as we climb the morraine beside the glacier on the way to the Tasiilaq Mountain Hut

Maxime and I leading the charge up the glacial moraine to the Tasiilaq Mountain hut. Photo: Mathilde Bousson

With amazing views back down into the valley.

My trekking companions resting about half way up the glacial morraine leading to theTasiilaq Mountain Hut

Catching our breath and taking in the views about half-way up the glacial moraine

At the top of this, we were met by an even bigger challenge.  Maxime had described it along the lines of the following:  “We walk up the moraine until we hit what looks like a vertical wall, then we climb that, and the hut is at the top”.   Riiiiiiiiiight!

And while it wasn’t quite a vertical wall to begin with, it wasn’t far off!

My trekking companions climbing up the very steep slope ahead of me

It was even steeper than this looks

And in the end, his description turned out to be pretty accurate, but at least there were ropes attached to help in the endeavour!

My trekking companions in front of me using ropes to climb the last section to the Tasiilaq Mountain Hut

Yeah – this bit pretty much went straight up

It was all totally worth it in the end!  The Tasiilaq Mountain Hut is in an absolutely spectacular location 

Maxime on the verandah of the Tasiilaq Mountain Hut while Filip and I arrive at last

Filip and I bringing up the rear in reaching the Tasiilaq Mountain Hut. Photo: Mathilde Bousson

with incredible views further into the mountains

Maxime contemplating the mountain that sits behind the Tasiilaq Mountain Hut

An Icelandic Mountain Guide in East Greenland. Another of my favourite photos from the trek

and also back down onto the glacier and the valley below.

View of the glacier from the Tasiilaq Mountain Hut

The guys went to collect water for the next couple of days (always one of the first chores when arriving at a campsite)

Maxime and the guys collecting melt water for us to use at the Tasiilaq Mountain Hut

This time there was no stream – we actually collected snow melt-water

and we settled in around the dining table drinking tea (oh the variety that was at the hut – even English Breakfast tea!), chatting, and finishing off the day with our surprisingly good Travellunch re-hydrated dried trekking food for dinner.  We ate a lot of this stuff in the final days 🙂 

Our group sitting around the table in the Tasiilaq Mountain Hut eating dinner

Not a lot of veggies … but it still tasted pretty good

Trekking Time:  approximately 8 hours

Read more about the Unplugged Wilderness Trek

If this post has piqued your curiosity about hiking and trekking in East Greenland, read about the rest of my adventure on the the 12-day Unplugged Wilderness Tour with Greenland Adventures:

  • Day 1 – Tasiilaq to Kulusuk and along the Sermiligaaq Fjord 
  • Day 2 – Hike to the Karale Glacier
  • Day 3 – Hike to the lookout over Sermiligaaq Fjord and Karale Fjord
  • Day 4 – Karale Fjord camp to Beach camp
  • Day 5 – Beach camp to Bluie East Two
  • Day 6 – Bluie East Two along the Ikateq strait to the Tunu Fjord
  • Day 7 – Tunup Kua Valley to Tasiilaq Fjord
  • Day 8 – Along the Tasiilaq Fjord
  • Day 9 – Tasiilaq Fjord to Tasiilaq Mountain Hut
  • Day 10 – Tasiilaq Mountain Hut
  • Day 11 – Tasiilaq Mountain Hut to Tasiilaq Fjord to Kulusuk
  • Day 12 – Kulusuk to Reykjavik
  • Video Slideshow – of some of my favourite images

If it has sparked an interest in Greenland more generally, learn more about this amazing country at Visit Greenland, and check out the wide range of tours of all kinds (not just hiking and trekking) at Guide to Greenland.

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