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West Greenland - Day 5

In the morning I first needed to cross the lake. It was difficult to find a place to put my packraft in the water. I couldn't reach the lake and, although there was only 20 meters of river left, it was still flowing fast enough that I had to be careful not to have my packraft dragged away before I got in. Eventually I succeeded though. Paddling in the glacial lake was a lot of fun and a nice break from walking. I had a great view over the glacier calving into the lake and the weather was nice.

packrafting in greenland
packrafting in greenland

At the other shore it was time to start climbing. I needed to get high up in the mountains before reaching a different side of the same glacier. Climbing up the mountain took several hours as it was steep and there were many small lakes and swampy areas. Because of all the melt water there were also an unusual amount of shrubs. The views were definitely worth it. From the top I looked out over the massive glacier and the mountains in the distance. 

signs of a glacier melting in greenland
person looking out over a glacier

The descent seemed to go on forever. There was quite a large mountain plateau I needed to cross. However, I had been looking forward to the next section for a long time. The large glacier adjacent to the lake I had crossed earlier also drains in a second iceberg filled lake high up in the mountains. In contrast to the first lake, this one isn't drained by rivers. Over multiple years it gradually fills up until it reaches a huge size of ~5 by 20 km. When the water pressure gets high enough, the lake breaks through the glacier and drains in its entirety in one huge event. As far as I had been able to tell from online reports the water would be pretty high this year.

First, I needed to reach the lake though. Only near the evening I could see it in the distance. The views over the icebergs and glaciers was amazing. I wasn't sure yet if it would be safe to paddle between the icebergs or if it would be smarter to walk around the lake, which would add at least a day to my total trip. For now, I decided to camp next to the lake and get some rest. It felt really cool to be there all by myself.

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