Joining one of our Glacier Walk and Ice Cave Tour and being able to step into an ice cave that only very few people will ever set foot into, is an experience that will stay with you forever.
A glacier holds many ancient secrets, that can be witnessed best by exploring ice caves and getting a look at the ice from the inside.
On our Ice Cave and Glacier Hike Tour we go on an adventure to the first and only glacial cave in East Greenland open for tourists. And since we are the only company operating tours to this beautiful destination, we usually have the cave all to ourselves.
In order for you to feel as prepared as possible and to know what you are getting yourself into we put together a handy guide that will allow you to know exactly what to expect when you head out to this adventure of a lifetime!
WHERE THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
Every year from 1st of July until the 20th of September we are taking people on an unforgettable 4-5 hour long trip that includes hiking on a glacier and visiting one of the most breath-taking ice caves we have ever come across.
During this time, we have daily departures in the morning and afternoon starting from Tasiilaq and Kulusuk.
Getting to the ice cave requires a boat trip, that lasts either 20 minutes if the starting harbour is Kulusuk or 40 minutes if you decide to leave from Tasiilaq.
JOURNEY TO THE GLACIER
The boat ride is an amazing way to start the trip and really a whole experience in itself!
As we make our way to the glacier we pass beautiful fjords, navigate our way through icebergs that make their way to the open sea in the most incredible and fascinating shapes and colours and even have the chance to witness some of Greenlands spectacular wildlife! Humpback whales and fin whales are some of the magnificent creatures we encounter most often. Sometimes we meet curious seals along the way and when we get lucky, we even get to see orcas!
The view of the glacier as we get closer is like something from a postcard. In the front we see the area of the glacier that connects into the ocean. This is the so-called calving area. Big chunks of ice break of from here and become the very same ice bergs we pass on the way.
When the timing is right, we might get to witness one of these calvings happening in front of us. Always from a save distance of course ;)
Our trusted, local boat driver is then going to drop us off next to the edge of the glacier.
HIKING ON A GLACIER
Now it’s about to get serious! The glacier is calling and it is time to put on all the equipment that we will need in order to continue the rest of the way.
This includes Crampons and a helmet that are provided by us.
If you have never been on a glacier before or have never used or even seen crampons in your life, don’t worry – This tour is made in a way that does not require any prior experience or knowledge about walking on a glacier. You are in excellent hands. Your experienced guide will walk you successfully through the process of putting the crampons correctly on your shoes and give you a briefing regarding safety.
After that you are ready to explore one of Greenland’s magnificent glaciers!
Getting to the ice cave involves an easy walk across the glacier that takes around 30 minutes.
30 minutes in which we have plenty of time to safely discover some of the unique features glaciers have to offer. We will come across breath-taking crevasses, deep moulins and many interesting shapes and forms of ice that are formed by meltwater.
THE ICE CAVE
The highlight of this tour is going to be the moment when you step from the outside world into what we decided to call the Blue Whale Cave.
Making your way into an ice cave, having the “normal” light from behind you becoming weaker with every step and slowly submerging into this mesmerizing world of blue, really feels like you just walked through a portal and entered another planet.
Once we are in the ice cave you have plenty of time to lose yourself in this magical place. Exploring all the features, looking at ancient air bubbles that are thousand of years old, feeling the smoothness of the ice under your hand and taking in all the incredible ways the blue light gets scattered and reflected in endless shades of blue and green is an overwhelmingly beautiful and humbling experience.
While you are there you will also learn about some of the secrets and stories that the ice keeps and hear about how much the glaciers in this area have been changing over the years.
BACK TO REALITY
From one highlight we will now make our way to another one!
After having time to really take in everything our Ice Cave has to offer, it’s time to make our way back to standing on top of the ice.
Before making our way back to our boat we will venture a bit further onto the glacier.
Standing on the glacier and being able to look over the ocean and the fjord we came from offers unique views. This view becomes even more special when we reach the point from which we are able to look directly at the calving area while standing on top of the glacier itself.
What we could see from the boat and a greater distance earlier, we can now witness from a completely different perspective!
Seeing the place where ice that is hundreds of thousand years old, meets the ocean is a very unique opportunity to experience those two worlds colliding with each other.
With every piece of ice breaking off the glacier and falling into the ocean a melting process continues. A melting process that is part of a much bigger picture. Being able to stand on a glacier and witness nature’s sensitive balance is an eye opening experience. One that can teach us something valuable about our planet and ourselves.
Your guide will then safely lead you back to the same place where you got off the boat around 3 hours earlier.
Your captain will be waiting for you there and take you back to Kulusuk or Tasiilaq. On the boat drive back, you have the chance to take a deep breath, to realize what unforgettable and special memories you have just created and to enjoy the views. Still on the look out for more of Greenland’s wildlife as well of course!
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
The average temperature in the summer in Greenland is around +10/+15 degrees Celsius. The temperature on the glacier is pretty much the same as the temperature on land that day.
All the technical equipment you need to be able to get on the glacier is provided by us. This includes an helmet and crampons and for people going on the Ice cave + Ice Climbing Tour additionally harness and ice axes.
In order to be as safe, warm and comfortable as possible here is what you should bring yourself:
- a pair of hiking boots. The shoes have to be a bit more sturdy and reach above your ankles- this is in order to be able to fit the crampons and to protect your ankles while walking through uneven terrain.
- a warm, thick jacket. Especially during the boat ride it gets colder than many people expect and you will need a jacket to keep you warm
- a pair of gloves
- rain gear - depending on the weather
We are not able to provide rain gear for you, so you are responsible to bring your own if
If you want to experience everything our ice cave has to offer but you are also looking for a bit more of a challenge, how about trying yourself in some ice climbing?
On our Ice Climbing + Ice Cave Tour you will have the opportunity to get an in depth look at crevasses. Literally. Your guide will first introduce you the basics of ice climbing and teach you the techniques and then safely lower you into a crevasse from which one you yourself get the chance to climb out of again!
You will have the chance to do this multiple times, to make sure you get the most out of the experience, improve your skills and get a good feeling for the technique as well.
The tour is built in a way that everybody can join and get a taste of what ice climbing is about. You don’t need to have any prior experience in climbing or with glaciers for this.
Our Guides are able to personalize each tour and adjust the difficulty level of the climb and the challenge to what fits best for you :)
Ice Climbing is an incredible and fun sport. Hanging on a rope inside a crevasse in the middle of a glacier in Greenland, feeling the ice axes dig into the wall of ice in front of you and your crampons finding a way to hold you as you make your way up, is a once in a lifetime chance that you don’t want to miss.