Just back from a 2 week expedition to Apusiaajik Island. I was fortunate enough to be part of a 6 person team with Matt Spenceley Guiding. I was the only Splitboarder and had the least climbing experience (none).
Day 1. We flew from Reykjavik to the tiny airport in Kulusuk. Good views flying in, lots of broken sea ice. Stacked our gear onto a snowmobile and walked 30 minutes into the village (population 250) to our house for the night. Houses in this village do not have running water, nor toilets. Its a different way of life for sure. A polar bear was killed this year in the village. Did a bit of Avy practice and saw the local kids playing in the snow.
Kulusuk is the island at the bottom right, Apusiaajik Island is north east of it. It was mind blowing trying to wrap my head around how vast Greenland actually is.
Day 2. Woke up at 6am to 120kmh winds. Did some crevasse rescue practice and talked about the trip. Polar bears are a serious issue so we must carry a rifle and shotgun and flares. Trip wires will be setup around the camp every night and we are planning on taking a couple of dogs too. Weather forecast is pretty bad and the weather will turn out to be horrible for most of the trip. A very weird season with warm temps and rain.
Day 3. Weather calmer. Decided to dog sled 25kms over frozen sea ice to set up base camp. 4 Hunters with their dogs, our gear and us being towed behind. The 25km journey took 4.5 hours, very tiring. The dogs were amazing, they just kept going, we had to help push/walk up a few steep sections. At the site, we had to haul our gear off the sea ice and up a slope to build the camp which consisted of 4 hours of cutting blocks and building a wall to protect our tents. We ran out of time and could only get the mess tent up so all 8 of us slept in it that night. Luckily for me, my exped downmat exploded so I wasnt to get a decent nights sleep for the next 2 weeks.
Day 4. Clear Skies, we decided to do a quick tour and come back in the afternoon to finish setting up camp. Toured up one of the many unnamed glaciers and looked at a couloir we hope to ski this trip. The weather turned and visibility went bad so the skiing wasnt great. Back at camp, we spent another 4 hours building the wall for an expected storm with 200kmh winds.
Day 5. Scary night in the tent. Super windy. We spent most of the day in the tent until the afternoon where there was a weather window to work on fixing the wall again.
Day 6. Trying for our first summit. A 700m peak with noname. My day carrying the 5kg rifle, with crampons, ski crampons, ice axe, not fun. Skinned up a glacier with ropes. Crampons and up to the top. Back to camp and more wall building.
Day 7. More bad weather. White and Windy. Lets do more wall building. Did some skiing, but its not that fun when you cant see.
Day 10. Bad Weather again. But we decided to see if that couloir from earlier in the trip was skiable. We got up to it in ok weather but as soon as Matt climbed it, the weather just came in on us and vis was down to 15 metres. Ended up downclimbing on rocks due to high avalanche danger.
Day 11. Rain. Above freezing temps. Wet. A gust of wind set the trip wire off providing some excitement.
Day 12. Same same. We went out to get some exericise. Weather isnt going to change, we decide to break camp tomorrow and go back to the village.
Day 13. Up at 7, we dig everything out in the rain, and leave our gear on the sea ice to be picked up and we traverse the island to be picked up on the other side by snowmobile. Misery. Its super flat terrain and I'm pulled along the flats.
Day 14. More rain but at least we're comfortable back in the village.
Overall, I guess we got super unlucky with the weather. Conditions meant we couldnt ski anything very interesting. I'd love to come back, but I doubt it will be anytime soon. Its a wild place.