Dogsledding mini expedition in East Greenland - get a dog sledge license

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Learn how to drive your own dogsled in East Greenland and participate in a unique mini-expedition!
Are you crazy about Greenland, winter, a mad dog and do you have the dogsled bacillus in your veins, this unique trip is perfect. 8 days in East Greenland where you spend the first 2 days learning all about dogsled driving from A-Z – both practically with your own dogs and theoretically with information about the sled life, the dogs, the equipment, the snow condition etc. You then participate in a 3 day mini expedition in the magnificent area around Tasiilaq.

In the first nights you stay at Hotel Ammassalik in Tasiilaq and then the tents are opened up for the night on the frozen sea. The ultimate dogsled experience far from the beaten track and close to the beautiful nature in East Greenland.

It is only 127 years ago the first Europeans came to Tasiilaq (Ammassalik). Gustav Holm lead the famous umiak expedition in East Greenland 1883-1885 og founded in 1894 the colony Angmagssalik inhabited by approx. 413 people. Today there is approx. 1800 inhabitants who primarily live from hunting and fishing. The area is characterized by ice, pointed peaks, calving glaciers and – depending on the season – a rare lushness with small rivers and waterfalls. The winter landscape is a remarkable setting with a cover of snow and ice and endless widths.
The combination of the sparse number of inhabitants and the geographical grandeur makes this trip an intense and authentic experience. As an extra bonus you’ll get a taste of Iceland!
How to get to Iceland and away?

Please notice that this tour starts out from Reykjavik Domestic Airport  in Iceland.
Greenland Travel will be happy to assist with air tickets from your  home country to Iceland and to help you with accommodation in Reykjavik, excursions in Iceland etc. Please inquire.

Day program
Day 1 Iceland-Kulusuk-Tasiilaq
Day 2-3 Driver’s license to the dogsled
Dag 4 Sled expedition on the Ammassalik island – Tasiilaq to Qernertivartivit
Dag 5 Sled expedition on the Ammassalik island – Qernertivartivit to Ukiveralik at the Sermilik fjord
Day 6 Sled expedition on the Ammassalik island
Day 7 Tasiilaq on your own
Day 8 Tasiilaq-Kulusuk-Reykjavik

Day 1 Iceland-Kulusuk-Tasiilaq
Isolated on the East Greenland coast lies the small town of Tasiilaq (also known as Ammassalik), which is the setting of this fantastic Greenland trip. In the morning you fly from Reykjavik to Kulusuk. Approaching the small settlement of Kulusuk you’ll get an impression of the tough and amazing East Greenlandic nature. The few settlements and towns are sparsely scattered in the rough hilly landscape. Kulusuk has 302 inhabitants that live from hunting, fishing and the airport and is beautifully situated on the small rocky island surrounded by icebergs and jagged mountains.
From Kulusuk you fly with helicopter to Tasiilaq – an amazing flight over the hilly terrain and as you reach Tasiilaq you’ll spot the colored houses in the white landscape. The cozy Hotel Angmagssalik with a wonderful view over the town, the fjord and the majestic setting welcomes you in style.

Day 2-3 Driver’s license to the dogsled
On a traditional dogsled trip you are spending most of the time on the dogsled enjoying the beautiful view while the landscape slowly passes by. We want to involve you actively in the handling of the dogs and the dogsled driving. You will be introduced to the dogsled's historical background, the theory and the working processes associated with dogsled driving. After 1 ½ day of  training we test your skills for fun with a driving test and you will receive a special dog license. The dogsled license gives you the necessary skills to handle and ride a dogsled with 6-8 dogs and also to work as assisting driver on a dogsled with up to 14 dogs.
Our intention is also - besides giving you an exciting and positive experience with a license - to give you an insight into the East Greenlandic Inuit culture and the ancient mode of transport.
After 2 fun days taking your driver’s license the dogsled adventure awaits and it’s time for you to show your abilities with the dogs in the wild. You are accompanied by an experienced Greenland driver and there are 12-14 dogs in front of the sled. During the next couple of days you will go around the Ammassalik island with the characteristic mountain peaks driving on sea ice, over land and over the famous Mittivakkat glacier including a visit in the ice cave.

Day 4 Dogsled expedition – Tasiilaq to Qernertivartivit
The expedition starts at 9 in the morning from Tasiilaq. On the first 4 kilometres we ride on the fjord which is surrounded by mountains. The colourful houses disappears little by little and are taken over by a desolated landscape.

From the fjord we ride up on land and follow a river bed approx. 3 kilometres to Ammassalik’s largest lake Qorlortoq. We cross the lake from south to north and approx. 4 kilometres after we cross a huge land area before continuing on the next lake, Lange Sø (long lake), approx. 3 kilometres. This lake is far smaller than Qorlortoq and the mountains surround you on both sides. We will enjoy our lunch and a warm drink at the end of the lake.

After lunch we start the ascent towards a pass to approx. 475 metres above sea level. The ascent varies. Sometimes you’ll have to get off and walk, but for most of the time you remain on the sled. From the top we go down approx. 4 kilometres over a smaller glacier with a super view over the fjords. Out on the fjord we ride the last 8 kilometres to Qernertivartivit. On this first night we camp on the sea ice where there are fine possibilities to fish for Greenland halibut, catfish and redfish - a wonderful contribution to the dinner!
Today’s distance is approx. 35 kilometres. Terrain: Fjord approx 12 kilometres. Lake approx.7 kilometres. Glacier approx.4 kilometres. Hilly land approx. 12 kilometres. Highest level approx. 475 metres. Duration: 4-7 hours depending of the snow condition.

Day 5 Qernertivartivit to Ikiveralik at the Sermilik ice fjord
At 9 we start off from Qernertivartivit. The first 8 kilometres are on the fjord ice. When we reach the glacier we pass north and ride approx. 3 kilometres over a lake and continues 9 kilometres through a glacier valley. High dramatic mountains and glaciers on both sides of the valley. At the Tinetegilaaq glacier we turn south and cross a pass and have a steep descent to a lake. Yet another steep descent brings ud drom to ‘Kaffebaren’ (the coffee shop) – 3 cabins placed  in the middle of the Ammassalik island.

After lunch we ride the last 18 kilometres through several valleys in continuation of each other. The last distance down to the Sermilik fjord goes in a small dramatic ravine and we pass a frozen waterfall. We camp at Ukiverajik. The Sermilik fjord is one of Greenland’s largest and most active ice fjords with countless small and huge ice bergs. The view over the many ice bergs in the fjord on the ice cap on the other side is more than amazing.
Today’s distance is approx. 40 kilometres.
Terrain: Fjord approx. 8 kilometres. Lake approx. 3 kilometres. Glacier valley approx. 9 kilometres. Crossing of pass (400 metres above sea level) approx. 2 kilometres. Valleys/ravines approx. 18. Kilometres.
Duration: 5-8 hours.

Day 6 Mittivakkat-Tasiilaq
The last day is the most demanding part of the expedition, but the route is – even after Greenlandic conditions – a unique and breathtaking experience. From the fjord we go down the ravines approx. 6 kilometres and then turn south and start the ascent towards Mittivakkat. When we reach the glacier, we’ll stop by an ice cave and enjoy the sight and a refreshment. We continue op on the glacier. The first part is quite steep and we have to walk next to the sled approx. 1,5 kilometres. The glacier then flattens a bit and it is possible to sit on the sled as the ascent continues. When we reach the top we are rewarded by a beautiful view – and lunch. You can see all the way down to the bottom of the long Sermilik fjord with its thousands of icebergs and on the opposite side of the fjord you’ll see the huge ice cap.
After lunch we continue over Mittivakkat until we reach the descent which is an isolated glacier tongue. From the glacier we come to a small lake and continue a couple of kilometres before reaching the trip’s steepest descent after which we follow 3 lakes on the way down towards the fjord at Tasiilaq. On the fjord we can see Tasiilaq approaching during the last 4 kilometres. Upon arrival to Tasiilaq we check in at Hotel Angmagssalik again.
Today’s distance is approx. 32 kilometres.
Terrain: Ravines/valleys approx 7 kilometres. Glacier approx. 12 kilometres. Hilly land approx. 6 kilometres. Lake approx. 3 kilometres. Fjord approx. 4 kilometres.
Highest level approx. 700 metres.
Duration: 6-9 hours.

Day 7 Tasiilaq on your own
On the last day of the trip there are no planned activities. You can use the day to rest from the hardships and maybe take the last vacation photos. Also remember to check out the beautiful East Greenlandic arts and crafts and simply enjoy the atmosphere in the small town!

Day 8 Tasiilaq-Kulusuk-Reykjavik
The Greenland adventure has come to an end. You fly by helicopter to Kulusuk and from there by flight to Reykjavik. In Iceland we recommend a plunge in The Blue Lagoon. The lagoon is situated on the peninsula Reykjanes at Grindavik in the south west close to Keflavik surrounded by lava stones and black sand beaches. The temperature is constantly 37-39 degrees Celcius and the water has a high level of white siliceous clay and sulphur. A very special experience which soften up both your body and soul.

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    • Suggested packing list
       
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