Welcome to Tangent Expeditions!
The World's leading operator of mountaineering and ski expeditions to Arctic Greenland!
The Only 'comprehensive' website guide to mountaineering and ski-touring expeditions to Arctic Greenland.
20 years of research, planning, guiding and expertise; unrivalled experience, focus & attention to detail.
** Icecap Crossing & Arctic's Highest Mountain **
BREDE to WATKINS MOUNTAINS SKI EXPEDITION
"This is just a quick email to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Greenland. It was superb, and I would like to thank you for organising it. My team mates were great, and Paul Rose was fantastic. The whole journey lived up to all my expectations and the memories will stay with me forever"
Looking for a new and exciting Greenland icecap challenge? - The opening up of yet another major Greenland icecap crossing route by the world's leading experts! A shorter 250km journey in east Greenland, from the remote Brede Glacier to the Watkins Mountains, culminating in an ascent of Gunnbjørnsfjeld, the highest peak in the arctic at 3,693m. An unsupported ski and man hauling journey using pulks which will also be stopping off en route to make one or two first ascents of easy grade peaks on the Knud Rasmussen Land ice field in this breathtaking region. An ideal Polar journey with the option of traction kite training and a splendid and varied journey for those unable to manage 5 weeks off work for the full east-west traverse. This expedition can also be used as a training expedition for major North and South Pole journeys. Travelling north to south down the eastern side of the icecap and then trending southwestwards this expedition will have following winds throughout. At such a high latitude the expedition will also receive far more settled and more typically drier polar weather than the usual crossings further south. Also available to private and independent groups.
Accommodation in Iceland is provided on a Bed & Breakfast basis, and other meals are not included in Iceland. Expedition food will be provided on a full board basis for the time spent on expedition in Greenland. This will include camping style food during transit at Constable Point airport. If clients choose to eat in the airport canteen this is not included and should be paid for locally in Danish crowns or by credit/debit card.
LEVEL OF CAMPING
The expedition will involve camping in snow conditions on permanently snow covered glaciers. During periods of snowfall it will be necessary to 'dig out' your tent and maintain good overall camp organisation and camp craft skills. Strong Northerly winds can be a factor on the more exposed icecap sections of the journey and on the summit attempt on Gunnbjørmnsfjeld. Individuals and tent pairs will be expected to cook their own food as tent teams.
The group will meet on the Saturday at our favourite centrally located guesthouse in Reykjavik, Iceland. Regular flights are available from most European countries direct to Iceland's international airport at Keflavik, from where a coach will take you direct to the guesthouse. The next morning you will fly direct to Constable Point airstrip in northeast Greenland. The views are splendid as we pass over the frozen Denmark Straits for the last hour of the flight before descending in to the Hurry Fjord approach and touching down on the gravel airstrip. From here a completely different world awaits with arctic mountains, glaciers, huskies, snow mobiles and huge ice bergs stranded on the shallows of the fjord. The group will spend one full day at our Constable Point base preparing their equipment and carrying out final training before being flown south across Scoresby Sund, the world's largest fjord, by private helicopter to a start position on the Brede Glacier. Our team of snowmobile guides will have already pre-placed a depot of food and equipment at the base of the glacier. The helicopter will then return to this depot and bring the contents up to your start position. At the end of the expedition you will be collected by private Twin Otter ski plane from Gunnbjørnsfjeld base camp in the Watkins Mountains.
FINAL BASE CAMP
Your final camp for the ascent of Gunnbjørnsfjeld will be at the Twin Otter aircraft landing site at the foot of access glacier leading up to the SW ridge of Gunnbjørnsfjeld. Position N68'56 W29'43. Altitude 2180m.
ALTITUDE & ACCLIMATISATION
WEATHER & TEMPERATURES
April is usually a good month in east Greenland with fewer storms and blizzards than earlier in the winter. Long periods of both good and bad weather can prevail and vary from year to year. 2011 saw significant bad weather during this time, whilst 2012 was absolutely perfect throughout! Day time temperatures will be in the range of -8 to -20'c, with night time temperatures falling to -12 to -25'c. Temperatures will slowly increase throughout the 3 week duration of this expedition.
Apart from just a few hours of dusk in the first week or two, the expedition will have 24 hour light conditions throughout.
COLD WEATHER CLOTHING
Team members will require all the usual winter expedition clothing but specifically including windproof salopettes and jacket, insulated down jacket, face mask and expedition gloves/mitts. A detailed equipment list is available post booking on the restricted section of our website, however the following is an outline summary.
Tangent will provide Snowsled pulk sledges, North Face tents, snow pegs, floor insulation, MSR stoves, specially commissioned stove insulation boards, fuel bottles, fuel cans, fuel funnels, stove spares kits, lighters, pans, white gas fuel, food, toilet paper, maps & aerial reconnaissance photos, GPS, group survival shelter, snow shovels, emergency flares, PLB (emergency locator beacon), VHF air band radio, VHF marine band radio, satellite telephone & solar re-charging system, polar bear early warning trip wire sysytem, expedition medical kit including injectable pain killers and anti-biotics, general spares and repair kit, client prussik loops, a rope, and all crevasse rescue equipment for glacier travel.
Clients will need to provide their own large rucksack/travel bag, 40+ litre daysack for daily access, good quality sleeping bag comfort rated to -25'c, inflatable sleeping mattress (& repair kit), foam sleeping mattress, water/windproof jacket and trousers, suitable alpine ski touring or nordic skis and boots, ski poles, new full length skins, new short 'Kicker' skins, spare skin glue, tip and tail glide wax, crampons, full winter clothing including windproof salopettes and jackets, insulated down jacket, face mask and expedition gloves/mitts/hat/balaclava, 100% UV cat 4/5 sun glasses, 100% UV snow goggles, 1 litre metal flask, 1 litre water bottle (including insulating cover), eating/drinking cup/bowl/utensils, pee (toilet) bottle, multi-tool knife, lightweight harness, helmet, 5 x screwgate karabiners, light weight ice axe, GPS (optional), compass.
Clients are required to take out specialist compulsory insurance as part of a Tangent group policy specifically for Tangent groups operating in such remote parts of arctic Greenland. This policy meets the specific requirements laid down by the Greenland authorities. The cost is £450 per person. Please see our insurance site www.insuregreenland.com for details.
Ian Barker has worked in outdoor education and development training for over 28 years and is a qualified Mountaineering Instructor (MIC), having led over 25 worldwide expeditions, taking in all 7 continents. He has extensive Polar and Arctic/Antarctic experience and has worked with the British Antarctic Survey and University of Cambridge Earth Sciences department. He's spent several seasons ski guiding and mountaineering in the European Alps and has led many previous Tangent Greenland expeditions to Liverpool Land, Milne Land, Knud Rasmussen Land and the Watkins Mountains, and has previously summited Gunnbjørnsfjeld.
If you would like to consider joining this expedition then please contact Paul Walker as soon as possible. The first step will be for me to meet each of you personally (if UK resident) before arranging a group meeting as early as possible at our base in the Lake District. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss the following:
We offer a 10% DISCOUNT for a suitably qualified expedition doctor, nurse or paramedic.
Personal Service - all prospective clients are welcome to visit us at our home in Cumbria or Paul Walker will travel to any part of the mainland UK free of charge to meet with you and discuss the expedition in more detail and show you maps and photographs. We believe this benchmark service is offered by no other expedition travel company and supports our commitment to providing an ultimate level of high quality personal service.