Check out this months issue of Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal for a fabulous piece about skiing with our Ice Axe Expeditions crew in Sisimiut, Greenland. Editor Paul Oelerich does a fabulous job recounting our trip, an adventure that remains one of my most favorite yearly adventures to guide. We have open spots for our trip this April, please be in touch if you wish to join us this year!
Welcome to Sisimiut, we’re glad to have you here!
I’m shaking hands with Lasseraq Skifte, a tall man who moves about the crowded arrival area of the Sisimiut airport with authority. He’s dressed in snowmobile pants, heavy snow boots, and a large well-worn coaches coat that would not be out of place on the World Cup ski circuit. His dark and weathered skin cannot hide his smiling eyes, and easygoing demeanor. “Collect your gear, and throw it in the back of the truck.” I do as instructed, and step out of the small airport, and get my first blast of Arctic air and snow right in my face. It is cold, too.
The travel to this point was uneventful. I had left Salt Lake four days prior- direct to Paris and connecting to Copenhagen, where I had spent two days exploring this city, originally a Viking fishing village from the 13th century city and rich with history and fascinating architecture. I took in the popular sights, and was able to find a modern brewpub boasting “the most beers on tap in Northern Europe.” I settled in for a few and marveled at the incomprehensible amount of bicycles used for transportation here, all by folks seemingly dressed in black.
Back home in the Wasatch, it was shaping up to be one of the driest winters ever. All around the west, the snow was disappearing, and winter never really go going. The thought of going on an adventure to unexplored regions of Greenland, kept me hopeful for some sort of redemption to this awful winter.
I enjoyed a few tasty local Danish brews in the cozy pub, after a few brews, I contemplated how I had ended up here by myself.
I had met Doug Stoup of Ice Axe Expeditions a few years prior, while presenting an adventure speaker series at Snowbird. My liaison at the resort asked me out of the blue if I had room in the schedule for Doug to present a show. I was vaguely familiar with Doug and his polar travels, and he gave a great presentation on an epic haul across Antarctica to the South Pole. We spoke occasionally after that until he called me last fall asking if he could again do a show this past winter, titled “Skiing the Planet.” As we caught up over a beer before the show, he in his affable form informed me “hey buddy, I’ve got a spot for you on this Greenland trip this spring, so you’re going!” He then gave another great show on skiing remote places around the globe, showing amazing images from Antarctica, Svalbard Morocco, and Greenland- mentioning to the crowd I would be going this year as well. I can’t recall if I said yes or not that night, but eventually I was able to get it scheduled, and bought the ticket.
Back to the pub in Copenhagen, little did I know that Doug was going to ruin my ski touring life…
Read the rest here