Greenland icecap trekking
August 23rd, 2009
Today we do a long trek, about seven hours long, to a mountain top from where there is a beautiful view, and then onto Greenland icecap, walking on the moraine and then on the ice.
From our tented camp, we climb an hill to get a beautiful view over Greenland icecap and on the glaciers flowing into the sea.
Views onto Greenland icecap, glaciers, tidewater glacier, moraine and icebergs released into the fjord. The Greenland icecap is the world's second largest glacier (the first is Antarctica plateau, the third is Nordaustlandet in Svalbard archipelago). The sea level would rise about seven meters if the icecap in Greenland would melt and it contains about the 10% of the world's fresh water. The icecap is up to 3200 meters thick and its immense weight has pushed the continent many meters below the sea level.
On the top of the picture, a nunatak is visible. A nunatak is a mountain completely buried into the ice, except for the peak.
We eat our lunch along the shore of this lake, where there is also lot of arctic cotton.
We start to approach the icecap by crossing the immense moraine in front of the glacier.
We then search for a suitable place to enter the icecap, where there isn't a vertical wall of ice.
We finally enter the icecap, walking uphill. Debris are accumulated here and there, by glacier and water.
Walking on the ice is not too difficult, because the surface isn't smooth as expected. No crampons required.
However, there are quite many cracks in the ice, several meters deep, where small rivers runs in the bottom. Luckly, in this season, there is no fresh snow over them, so they can be seen and avoided easily.
After an hike on the ice, we start to walk back to the moraine.
The area where the glacier meets the ground is very rich of dark debris, making the landscape quite caotic.
Finally, we hike back to the tented camp, walking near a wall of ice.