South Greenland - Day 23 : Glaciers
My last hike would be a short one of only 1,5 days. As I spent most of yesterday afternoon resting it still felt like it was my first hike in a long time. As there was an asphalt and gravel road I could walk fast for the first few kilometres. Along the way I passed two men, which turned out to be the same as the ones I had met on the campsite in Igaliku. I kept going while they stopped to take photos. The route now went almost straight up to 300 m, but fortunately there were ropes to pull yourself up. On top was a nice lake followed be a 300 meter descent to a glacier. The view was amazing from this close. I could see the entire glacier and the icecap as well as the mountains in the distance. Closer by I could also walk on the the ice.
By now the two Danish men had caught up with me. We took some photos of each other and had lunch. One of them worked for the Danish meteorological institute and had been here for work a few times, but now he was on vacation.
We spent a long time talking about my gear and all the places I had visited, so I got quite a bit behind schedule. Eventually we said goodbye and I had to climb back up the 300 meter high hill. From there followed another climb to 600 meters. I was now in an area called Mellemlandet (the middle country) which lies in between two glaciers. As there are no sheep here the vegetation was quite different. With much taller grass and more flowers. The views were exceptionally nice and I wouldn't have mind spending 1 or 2 more days there. Around 5 o'clock I reached my second stop of the day, a hill that overlooked the glacier to the east of Narsarsuaq. I left my backpack behind before starting the steep climb. At some places I again needed to use both my hands and feet to get up. The view was one of the best I have ever seen. The entire fjord was filled with icebergs and every few minutes I could hear and see parts calving off. I had read that the glacier produces about 200.000 metric tons of ice per year. I spent a long time trying to take a nice picture of myself. This wasn't easy because there were so many mosquitoes flying into view.
After taking a bunch of photos I went down again. I was super tired from all the days of hiking but fortunately the route would be easy from now on and this was my last real hike day. I did regret not having one day more, because then I would have been able to walk to the tip of Mellem landet, where both glaciers I had visited today merge and you can look out over the ice sheet. Along the way I discovered someone camping. The guy told me he had planned to hike in Greenland for a few weeks, but his shoe sole had come loose on the first day. Therefore he now just camped in one spot and did a few day trips. I couldn't image going to Greenland with shoes like that, and if it would happen I would probably have bought a large roll of duct tape and tried to fix it. I also passed an emergency cabin, but there was nobody there.
From here on it was only 3 more kilometers through grassy fields to reach the rope descent and then another 2 hours to get back to the campsite.