Greenland 2022

Greenland 22nd July- 7th August 2022. Hannah Mortlock, Tom Litchfield and Bethany Carol from St Andrews Univeristy Mountaineering Club alongside the Scottish Arctic Club and with the support of The Neil Makenzie Trust.

On the 22nd July, Bethany Carol, Hannah Mortlock and Tom Litchfield flew from Glasgow to Keflavik (Iceland) to join the Scottish Arctic Club’s 50th Anniversary Expedition to Tasiilaq and Ammassalik Island. After landing in Iceland, we enjoyed walking around Reykjavik before meeting the remainder of the 25+ other expedition participants in Reykjavik City Airport the following morning. After a slight delay, we boarded a propellor aeroplane to Kulusuk, East Greenland. From here, we transferred by boat to Tasiilaq, the largest village in East Greenland, where we were based for the next few days.

While in Tasiilaq, we got to know many of the other Scottish Arctic Club members (many of whom had different objectives for the expedition, so we would not see until the flights home), stocked up on supplies, ate a delicious meal and watched the finals of the East Greenland football competition. We also walked up Sømandsfjeldet (a 718m hill behind Tasiilaq).

After this, we were transferred by boat up the Ammassalik fjord, then Ikerasagssuaq fjord to a granite cirque (65.91258694575762, -37.579071692925346), identified by Scottish Arctic Club members. We were initially alone in the cirque for several days and enjoyed the solitude and remote feeling (it was a 90-minute boat ride from Tasiilaq and over 5km from, and out of sight of, the nearest settlement (Tiniteqilaaq)). After that we were joined by six members of the Scottish Arctic Club expedition and enjoyed their company and the chance to learn from their expertise.

While in the cirque, our primary aim was exploration, hill walking and mountaineering. Active for most of the 10 days we spent in the cirque, we particularly enjoyed climbing (and a planned bivouac on) the West Flank of Pt. 2000 (we yet to find any details of previous ascents of this mountain), the West Ridge of Nîniartivaraq (the big ‘N’) and making an attempt (we reached a fore summit to find the final 80m to the summit to be extremely loose and steep) on the South Ridge of Pt. ~1120 (we yet to find any details of previous ascents of this mountain). We had an enjoyable afternoon multipitch rock climbing and loved the chance to spot wildlife (we saw Minke Whales regularly in Ikerasagssuaq fjord and Arctic Foxes sniffing around our food barrel most evenings. We also successfully fished in the fjord, catching trout and cod.

After a fantastic 10 days in the cirque, we headed by boat back to Kulusk, where we enjoyed the supermarket, and then flew back to Iceland. In an incredible, but manic, layover with a friend (who now lives in Iceland) we were thrilled to relax in a geothermal pool before heading out in the evening to see the volcano, which had started erupting two days before: A truly awe-inspiring way to cap off an incredible trip. Exhausted but hugely satisfied, we arrived back in Glasgow on the 7th August. We are hugely grateful to the Neil Mackenzie Trust for their incredibly generous support of this trip. We had a hugely inspiring, enjoyable and educational experience and are all eager to enjoy further international expeditions and, where possible, to assist other young people planning their own expeditions.

We are so grateful for this opportunity and the extremely generous support we received from the Neil Mackenzie Trust, so thank you! 

For report and more pictures: Greenland 2022 Pictures and captions