Trekking Greenland – Unplugged Wilderness Day 4

Day 4 of the Unplugged Wilderness trek saw us pull down camp and leave everything packed up on the shore of the Karale Fjord for the speedboat people.  They would transfer our gear around to the new campsite while we hiked with just our day packs. 

We began by retracing our steps up the steep climb of Day 3’s hike.  The weather was much worse, so I didn’t bother to take many photos on the way up, but the following images give you an idea of what we were hiking in.

Trekking companions hiking through clouds, fog and rain
Yes, there was more snow

And it only got worse.  Here’s Maxime seeking out the best way down the other side of the pass over Nunartivaq mountain.

Maxime over the back of a ridge, barely visible through the fog
There was a moment where we thought we’d lose him!

And us in full rain gear following his lead.

My trekking companions in full rain gear hiking through more snow with mountains in the background

We eventually found our way over to the valley we would follow back to the edge of the Sermiligaaq Fjord.  

View of the river valley leading back to the Sermiligaaq Fjord, all shrouded in clouds

And made our way down to the river.

Trekking group in bright rain gear descending to the river at the bottom of the valley
Why is rain gear for trekking always so brightly coloured?

I was about to make a comment to Maxime about how I bet that our campsite was on the other side of the river, except that before I got to make the quip, it became obvious that he was seeking out a place to cross.  It was no joke!!

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of what came next because it was raining constantly and I was wet and cold.  But even the cruelest story-teller wouldn’t have foisted what actually happened onto us.

So we crossed the freezing river (remember, all these rivers are flowing off glaciers), re-shoed, and hiked down to the shore where we set about trying to locate where the boat drivers had left our stuff.  It wasn’t where Maxime had asked them to put it, and he eventually located it … back on the other side of the river!

You have to be kidding!!!!

Maxime, a few of the guys and I re-crossed the river (I’d given up and was just wading across in my already soaking shoes) to transfer only what we desperately needed for the night and the morning across to the side of the river where the camp was meant to be (it was actually impossible to camp where they’d left our stuff).  The others then carried it all to the actual campsite and had the cook/dining tent set up by the time we’d finished.  

The hastily erected cook/dining tent at our campsite
Not our best pitching effort for the cook/dining tent at our campsite on Day 4. But it was very cold and wet!

To try to keep them as dry as possible, we set up each of the sleeping tents inside the cook/dining tent.  We then only had to find a place to plonk them down outside and put a couple of pegs into the sodden ground to keep them in place.

Once Rebecca and I had set up our tent, I changed out of my wet clothes and went straight to the cook/dining tent to get the water boiling for hot drinks.  This was another routine – every evening when we arrived at camp I was always hankering for a hot drink so I’d put the water on and get everything set up for “afternoon tea”.  Tea, more filtered coffee, and even hot chocolate for the first few days (until we ran out).  

Large water containers, 2 gas burners and large pots formed the basis of our cooking setup for the Unplugged Wilderness Trek
This is how everything was cooked and water boiled – two gas burners. One of the first jobs at each camp was to fill to the two white containers with water. Photo: Damien Elsaesser

Eventually everyone would converge in the tent and that would blend into preparing the evening meal, which I also usually helped out with (I’m a master instant soup-cooker!).   Again – any excuse to sit as close to the heat of the gas burners as possible!  Plus I love to cook 🙂  And don’t like to wash-up (another of the tasks we helped with).

Maxime and 2 of my trekking companions preparing dinner inside the cook/dining tent
Preparing the evening meal inside the cook/dining tent. Maxime was always head chef and on this occasion (Day 2), Mathilde (standing) and Anna (sitting) were helping out. Mathilde and I did the majority of the helping for the rest of the trek

It took me hours to even vaguely warm up, and in the end I succeeded only with the help of my trusty Coke-hot-water-bottle.  Yes, I’d brought one with me based on my Huayhuash experiences last year and Pamir Highway experiences a few months ago!

Everyone went to bed praying for better weather tomorrow!

Trekking Time:  approximately 7 hours

Read more about the Unplugged Wilderness Trek

If this post has piqued your curiosity about hiking and trekking in East Greenland, read about the rest of my adventure on the the 12-day Unplugged Wilderness Tour with Greenland Adventures:

  • Day 1 – Tasiilaq to Kulusuk and along the Sermiligaaq Fjord 
  • Day 2 – Hike to the Karale Glacier
  • Day 3 – Hike to the lookout over Sermiligaaq Fjord and Karale Fjord
  • Day 4 – Karale Fjord camp to Beach camp
  • Day 5 – Beach camp to Bluie East Two
  • Day 6 – Bluie East Two along the Ikateq strait to the Tunu Fjord
  • Day 7 – Tunup Kua Valley to Tasiilaq Fjord
  • Day 8 – Along the Tasiilaq Fjord
  • Day 9 – Tasiilaq Fjord to Tasiilaq Mountain Hut
  • Day 10 – Tasiilaq Mountain Hut
  • Day 11 – Tasiilaq Mountain Hut to Tasiilaq Fjord to Kulusuk
  • Day 12 – Kulusuk to Reykjavik
  • Video Slideshow – of some of my favourite images

If it has sparked an interest in Greenland more generally, learn more about this amazing country at Visit Greenland, and check out the wide range of tours of all kinds (not just hiking and trekking) at Guide to Greenland.

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