Travel Journal: The Clymb Does Greenland

In the sum­mer of 2016 I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to trav­el to Green­land on-assign­ment for The Clymb, Vis­it Green­land, and Air Green­land. It was a once in a life­time expe­ri­ence. Here’s why Green­land should be your next adventure:

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Why Green­land?
Grow­ing up just below the Cana­di­an bor­der I learned to enjoy cold­er cli­mates from a young age. The islands of the North­ern Atlantic have always fas­ci­nat­ed me, and I liked the remote­ness and mys­tery of Green­land. It’s an undis­cov­ered gem when it comes to adven­ture trav­el and has yet to be insta­grammed by the mass­es, but with a coun­try the size of Green­land locat­ed where it is, I knew there would be amaz­ing ter­rain and a fas­ci­nat­ing culture.

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Pack­ing Essentials
To my sur­prise, the sum­mer cli­mate in Green­land was quite enjoy­able and refresh­ing com­pared to the hot dry sum­mers we’ve become accus­tomed to in the US. For the most part the tem­per­a­ture dur­ing the days was around 60°F, with nights drop­ping into the 40s. The most impor­tant thing to bring is a well bro­ken in pair of water­proof hik­ing boots. The ter­rain is rugged, and by the glac­i­ers and lakes you can encounter some damp ground. Bring a pack­able puffy jack­et and a water­proof shell. While we didn’t encounter rain, the shell was nice for stay­ing dry when fog rolled in and for block­ing wind when out on boats. Every­thing in Green­land, includ­ing din­ing, is very casu­al, so don’t wor­ry about bring­ing “fan­cy” clothes, it’s best to stick to tech­ni­cal syn­thet­ic or light­weight wool lay­ers. Final­ly, don’t for­get your sleep­ing mask. Being locat­ed where it is, Green­land has almost 24 hours of light dur­ing the summer.

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Trip High­lights
The entire trip was incred­i­ble! But for the sake of talk­ing points, I would have to say the ice, the wildlife, and the food. It was amaz­ing to see the flow of ice from land to sea. Start­ing out by stand­ing on the ice­cap, then get­ting up close to the mas­sive flow­ing glac­i­ers, and then final­ly see­ing calv­ing glac­i­ers turn into ice­bergs by the sea. The size of the ice will amaze, it’s noth­ing like what can be seen in low­er North Amer­i­ca. I saw more wildlife in Green­land in two weeks than I’ve seen in the last two years. It was amaz­ing to be so close to cari­bou, musk ox, arc­tic hares, arc­tic fox­es, whales, seals, and seabirds. Although they are not wild, the Green­land sled/working dogs were also amaz­ing to see up close espe­cial­ly with how close­ly they resem­ble wolves. While fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles can be hard to come by, the local meat and seafood was incred­i­ble. Seafood comes right off the fish­ing boats into the kitchen, and caribou/musk ox meat is hunt­ed with­in a few miles of town.

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   “I saw more wildlife in Greenland in two weeks than I’ve seen in the last two years.”

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What made this trip so special?
While Green­land does share some char­ac­ter­is­tics with oth­er glaciat­ed des­ti­na­tions, you can’t beat its remote­ness. It was very spe­cial to be able to expe­ri­ence this wild space with­out any crowds, noise pol­lu­tion, or dis­trac­tions. The soli­tude that can be found in Green­land makes you feel like a true pio­neer and explor­er. It was one of the rare adven­tures where I feel like I came out a dif­fer­ent per­son. I felt so refreshed, ener­gized, and ready for more. Not to men­tion, the Green­landic peo­ple were amaz­ing. Nev­er have I met such kind locals while trav­el­ing that were so excit­ed to share their his­to­ry and tra­di­tions with trav­el­ers. It was tru­ly a once in a life­time adventure.

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Check out The Clym­b’s trips to Green­land here!


Pho­tog­ra­phy & sto­ry pro­vid­ed by Kyle Mag­gy. Born & raised in Upstate New York, moun­tains and ski­ing have always been a big part of Kyle’s life. After relo­cat­ing to the West Coast, and even­tu­al­ly Port­land, Ore­gon, you can now find him split­ting his time between ski­ing & climb­ing in the Cas­cades, surf­ing the North­ern Pacif­ic, and traveling.