And yet, we have made the journey out there challenging enough for the crowds to never make it into this rugged Arctic territory. It could not be more convenient for the adventurous skier.
We have put the mountains right at your doorstep here in Greenland.
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As you know, true ski touring means working to get results. In Greenland there are neither lifts, snowmobiles, or a helicopter to take you to the top, only your own legs and a good guide. But the reward easily compensates for the hardships endured along the way.
As an added bonus, you have the entire climb from peak to beach to familiarize yourself intimately with the landscape and the view. Take East Greenland for example.
Skiing in the Ammassalik District is only two hours away by plane from Iceland’s capital Reykjavík, and as you touch down in one of the world’s smallest international airports on the island of Kulusuk you are shuttled right to the ice edge of the fjord from where you take a boat straight into the backcountry.
The village of Kuummiut is often the preferred base camp – if you manage to find it somewhere under the extremely deep snows in this area. Skiers will live in a local guest house in a typical Greenlandic fishing and hunting community and can expect to be treated to one of the best combinations of hospitality and sublime skiing terrain anywhere.
But wait, there’s more. On Greenland’s west coast, at roughly on the same latitude as Kulusuk and Kuummiut, the huge Eternity Fjord system is opened up every winter by boat-based skiing operated out of Maniitsoq, the village Kangaamiut, or even straight from the capital Nuuk.
From a floating backcountry platform the world opens up for trips into the unknown and up, up, up past rough, rocky cliffs, softly curving snow fields, and hanging glaciers. As you ascend more than 1500 vertical meters you can look back at the basecamp which slowly turns into a tiny colored dot on the fjord surface.
Ship-based ski touring is a luxury that feels like home and where just about any kind of skiing interest in your group can be met. The Captain and the Mountain Guide simply move the hotel to an area with the type of runs you and your group are looking for. And don’t worry, first runs are everywhere.
And while these are just the handpicked crown jewels of ski touring in Greenland you should never pack away your skis.
This is a mountainous country for sure, and the snow pack extends all the way down to the water’s edge late into the winter, so whether you like a quick jibbing session on down days in town or prefer to explore the next hill over while waiting in transit, there is always another climb, another run, and another adventure out there.