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South Greenland - Day 5 : Swamps

I lay awake until 24:00 while the wind kept picking up. At night I woke up a few more times because of the noise my tent was making (later in the vacation I would learn that this had been a light breeze in Greenlandic terms). Poorly rested I didn't wake up until 11 o'clock. It was cold and cloudy. Today I would need to walk about 7 hours to reach my intended destination of the day, including some climbing.


I kept going up and downhill and around hills, but often it wasn't clear which exact lake or hill was which. There were also kilometer long sections of swamp, which felt like walking over a 30 cm thick sponge. The swamps consisted of a large network of small streams with humps of moss half a meter high randomly distributed through them. I kept jumping from moss to rock to moss while the sky was turning dark. I then climbed over a mountain ridge, it had great views, but walking was tough and it took quite some puzzling to find the best route.

hiking in south greenland
solo hiking in greenland

I reached a relatively short climb, which was covered in 3 meters of ice. I had no choice but to take a huge detour around it. Suddenly, from one step to the next, my foot sinked away in 30 cm deep mud. It was quicksand. It didn't seem very dangerous, but I didn't want to end up with mud filled shoes. Farther down I took a break, the sky kept getting darker and the hills I was in before were now covered in fog. After walking a big loop around a lake I arrived at my intended destination along a second lake. I had been walking for 6 hours with hardly any break, although it was only 18:00 it seemed a good time to stop given the bad weather coming in. After 15 minutes of searching I found the only dry spot without too many rocks. I laid down in my tent as in a coma. After a tough day like that you can just lie for hours without moving or realizing how much time has passed.

Later, I climbed a nearby hill to take some photos. It was good I had logged my tent's position beforehand, because after just a few minutes of walking it was nearly impossible to distinguish it in the huge landscape. The view towards the glacier in the north was beautiful. Back at my tent I cooked and recharged my camera. The following 2 days I would be walking along glacial lakes, which would be pretty and easy to navigate around. Besides some small pains and a bit of hunger the hiking was still going well. I did keep thinking I heard a helicopter in the distance, but didn't see anything. This day I again didn't see anyone.

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