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Lookbook-Greenland

THE OFFROAD TRIP GREENLAND

While we were eager to move in and experience the mountains, there was also an understanding that these behemoths were dangerous creatures. – VIKKI WELDON
COORDINATES: 66.3667° N, 35.75° W
SAILING TIME: 50 HOURS
WATER TEMPERATURE: 4°C
COLDEST RECORDED TEMP: -66.1 °C
GREENLAND AREA: 2166 MILLION KM2
HIGHEST PEAK IN GREENLAND: 3694M
COORDINATES: 65.61361°N, 37.6311°W
SAILING TIME: 12 HOURS
KM SOUTH OF ARCTIC CIRCLE: 106KM
CLIMBING TIME: 10 HOURS
PITCHES: 14
DESCENT: 17 RAPPELS (565m)

One of the most severe climates on the planet. Surrounded by dangerous, crushing masses of ice, it is a harsh existence to live here and because of that, Greenland remains largely unexplored. To go here is to embrace wild at its raw, unpredictable and mysterious best.

The slow pace of sailing on boats gives the soul time to catch up with the distance our body has covered. – VIDAR, CAPTAIN OF THE AURORA

The Aurora is a 60 foot steel hulled sailboat. Once a racing vessel, she now runs charter tours to Greenland. Vidar is comfortable with little talk, lots of silence and observation. He is home on the sea.

The Aurora is a 60 foot steel hulled sailboat. Once a racing vessel, she now runs charter tours to Greenland. Vidar is comfortable with little talk, lots of silence and observation. He is home on the sea.

From Iceland, it takes 50 hours by sail to arrive on land. The crossing is exposed and can be volatile, yet hundreds of whales and sea birds seem to guide the boat, encouraging it with signs of life.

On this trip, Paul McSorley, Vikki Weldon and Paolo Marazzi. Climbers, not sailors. They experienced firsthand that sailing is the movement that comes closest to standing still. Translation: seasickness.

As mountains appeared, the team straggled up from below. Anticipation and excitement replaced nausea as the scale and magnificence of the place started to sink in.

Scouting the landscape, the boat was positioned up channel such that water flow carried any icebergs away from the ship and not into it. The southwest buttress of Hidden Peak became the objective. An unclimbed route, amongst many, it was only logical to explore the unknown.

The ice sheet is a mass of compressed weather events, evolution and time. Attached by ropes, they strut out onto the snow, trusting each other, they move like articulated pieces of a single mind.

Constant erosion makes the rock alive, falling, shifting and moving as moisture escapes or changes form. Sheer walls, endless stony ridges and convoluted ice sheets roll out in futuristic sized boulevards. From up high, what is huge appears small, and small is invisible.

It’s not so much about being first to the top, but rather, being the first to consider, to try, to see if something is possible. A first ascent on the Cinderella line, so named after Vikki lost her shoe on rappel 2 of 17. She finished in a taped up sock.

Traveling by boat, opportunities expand and diminish; in every fjord were more mysteries and unclimbed routes, ones that came with more challenges to unlock.

Visiting these mountains from the convenience of a boat can make climbers sometimes forget just how remote, savage and unforgiving this land truly is. – PAUL MCSORLEY

Tasiilaq, a village of 1800 people. Isolated yet accessible, the people are friendly, generous and warm, inviting strangers in to share.

Living primarily off the land, marine mammals, game, birds and fish are traditional sources of food, high in protein and nourishment for a physically demanding existence.

Living primarily off the land, marine mammals, game, birds and fish are traditional sources of food, high in protein and nourishment for a physically demanding existence.

In winter, dog sleds are used for transportation. To select the teams, puppies are taken to an island for a week and fed at intervals. The strongest will emerge as lead dogs, the others sort themselves into the rest of the pack.

In North Greenland distances are measured in sinik, the Inuit word for sleeps, meaning the number of nights it takes to make a journey. It’s not a fixed distance, or a measurement of time, because so many things can vary.

In Greenland it is common to use the word caribou for wild reindeer and the word reindeer for the semi-domestic animals. The majority of meat and skins from these animals is used in households or sold locally.

A place so wild, so stunning, and so pristine. As we left we passed beyond the icebergs that acted as sentries to this beautiful land, overwhelmed by a sense of sorrow. – VIKKI WELDON