West Greenland - Days 1 and 2
In the summer of 2019 I went on another major hike, this time near Maniitsoq on Greenland's west coast. In contrast to my previous hike in south Greenland, the landscape was much more barren and even more deserted. I now also carried a better packraft, which allowed me to paddle vast sections of the trip.
Due to getting my PhD and moving to New York I hadn't been on a large hike in quite a while, but I knew I wanted to return to Greenland. After considering my options I decided to start near Maniitsoq, a small fishing village in the middle of nowhere. I have detailed my preparations and equipment on a separate page. Here it will suffice to say that I spend most of my free time in the prior 4 months buying new equipment, training, and researching anything I could get my hands on.
I would be carrying a 28 kg backpack, if I stuffed all my pockets as well. Most of that was food. Reaching the starting point of my hike would involve taking 3 flights and a boat ride. The first flight was from New York to Reykjavik. On the actual day of departure I had mixed feelings about leaving, as I usually do. This would again be 3 tough weeks. From my earlier trips I had learned to schedule all my layovers with ridiculously large buffers. That immediately turned out a smart decision, as my flight was delayed. Many other flights at the airport were cancelled, so I spent most of the night unsure whether I could go at all and if all my preparations had been in vain. After a delay of 7 hours I could finally fly to Iceland where, after waiting for another 4 hours, I took the plane to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.
At first I was confused, as there didn't seem to be anyone working at my gate, nor any other passengers. It turned out we were flying in a small propellor plane with only 6 passengers. The flight over Greenland's ice cap was again amazing, the snow covered granite mountains on its east coast seem from a different planet. On the other side of the country we passed a slightly more green area with deep fjords, before touching down in Nuuk. Here I camped as my last flight wouldn't leave until the next morning.
As my flight left early and I didn't want to rely on public transport I simply camped a few hundred meters from the airport, without pitching my tent. Using my GPS communicator I sent a message home to say I was fine. I went to sleep with a nice view over Nuuk.