Departing from Qaanaaq for our dogsledge expedition

19 April 2007 

The dogsledge expedition to Thule in northen Greenland begins with a departure from Qaanaaq, crossing the Murchison sund until reaching Herbert Island, where the first night is spent in a tent near the limit of open water.

Thule dogsledge expedition map
A map showing the entire dog sledge expedition route.
Preparing the dogsledges
The dog sledges are prepared and loaded, soon after the dogs are tied and the start signal is given. The today's objective is to cross Murchison Sund to Herbert island, driving over frozen sea. The group is made of 5 people, each having own dog sledge and own Inuit guide.
Dogsledges over pack ice, Greenland Dogsledges over pack ice, Greenland
Dogsledges over pack ice, Greenland Dogsledges over pack ice, Greenland
Dogsledges over pack ice, Greenland

We start to cross some uneven pack ice, just in front of Qaanaaq.
Then, the sea becomes flat, with the dogs running at full speed.
Murchison sund, Greenland Frozen sea, Greenland
Iceberg, Greenland Northen Greenland

Huge icebergs trapped into frozen Murchison sund.
Dog sledge Dogsledge
Dogs Greenland
We stop near this majestic iceberg for a welcome hot tea and snack break. In the meanwhile, also the dogs enjoy some rest.
Dogsledge expedition Dogsledge expedition
Dogsledge expedition Dogsledge expedition
Frozen sea, Greenland

Soon, we resume the run, alternating with some stop to enjoy the beautiful and unusual scenery of Northen Greenland in winter.
Pack ice
After a few hours, the surface of the sea becomes uneven again.
Thence, we continue driving over a beach.
Dog sledge, Greenland
Limit of open water, Greenland Limit of open water, Greenland
Global warming Global warming, Greenland
At the end of the day, we reach the open water limit. Because of the global warming, this limit is much closer to the land if compared to just few years ago. This fenomena is quickly getting worse year after year. The original expedition's plan was to reach Siorapaluk and Neqe further north, but it was actually impossible because of too much open water and thin sea ice along the normal route to these places.
Pack ice, Greenland Pack ice, Greenland

Thence, we stop here or the night (although late in April there is actually no night up here).
Effects of global warming in Greenland Icebergs

I climb a small hill for a beautiful view from the top. I can see lot of open water, regardless this northen latitude, because of the effects of global warming.
Eskimo tent Eskimo tent

This night the group will sleep in a small tent, built over two linked sledges, as the Inuit normally do. Sleeping in 5 in a so small space is not comfortable, but it will be warmer and, after a so long day, I will fall asleep quite soon.

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Thule (Greenland) travel guide

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