An Expedition in Greenland

Immerse yourself in nature without limits, with sensational and impressive landscapes of Greenland.

Huge Iceberg from the sky in South Greenland
Huge Iceberg from the sky in South Greenland

Answering the call for adventure

I’ve always searched for wild places and a taste for adventure, and this growing urge led me to begin three expeditions to Greenland.

For a total of more than three months, I hiked, kayaked, sailed and dogsled through the vast island. I was also able to immerse myself in the culture by living with the Intuit, who taught me how to survive the icy, unrelenting weather.

I couldn’t have imagined the wide variety of feelings I experienced during the first month spent in Greenland. I was moved by the contemplation of the wild untouched landscapes I had crossed, fascinated by the enormous icebergs, and truly inspired by this island’s people.

Staring at the beauty of the Sermilik fjord
Staring at the beauty of the Sermilik fjord

Imagine somewhere away from remotely tucked away from all traces of human life. Here, you can see a valley filled by a calm and a greenish-blue lake that bounces back your reflection. Bright green mountains symbolize the welcoming atmosphere of the land. Two thousand meter-high peaks fall steeply into the water, as if to highlight how small we stand in comparison. Mountain passes and snowy summits relinquish melting glaciers, reminding us that nothing is eternal. Finally, there’s a bright sun to warm our hearts and a sandy white beach, where you can rest all day and contemplate the beauty of the universe.

This is quite simply the beauty of Greenland. It’s here that there seems to be an invisible force that keeps nature, and our body and soul, in equilibrium.

Hiking in East Greenland around midnight
Hiking in East Greenland around midnight
A small Inuit house isolated on a hill at the edge of the village Tiniteqilaaq (110 inhabitants), facing the majestic Sermilik fjord
A small Inuit house isolated on a hill at the edge of the village Tiniteqilaaq (110 inhabitants), facing the majestic Sermilik fjord

Hunting with the Inuits

After being caught up by a storm that was 15 degrees Celsius below zero and a blizzard whipping winds of 160 km that restricted our visibility for a few days, Angani, an Inuit from Kulusuk, and I set off on a dog sled to hunt for seals, polar bears or whatever else we stumbled upon. In Greenland, hunting is not a sport but a way of life. In the Ammassalik region, the Inuit have always survived with the bare minimum amount of food, given this area is surrounded by ice nine to ten months in a year. It is one of the most remote areas in the world, which has led to the creation of a dialect called Tunumiu, different from the normal Greenlandic language.

Angani on his dogsled for the hunt
Angani on his dogsled for the hunt

It is April, and a spring sun has already shown up. The sled glides a dozen kilometers per hour, the dogs struggling in the soft snow and melted ice due to the abnormally high temperature for this time of the year. The dogs here endure the cold, blizzard and storms, but this weather is now almost too warm for them.

Angani screams, “Yoyo yoyo yoyo yo!”, which echoes in the air and directs the dogs to turn left. Suddenly, Angani stops the dogs, and silence lingers in the valley. The dogs sense that it’s hunting time.

Angani walking closer to the seal on the ice pack
Angani walking closer to the seal on the ice pack
Angani ready to shoot the seal
Angani ready to shoot the seal

Giving me a quick look through his rifle lens, Angani excitedly says, “Puisi, puisi”, which means “seal” in Greenlandic. Dressed in a white painter suit with his gun slung over his back, he walks slowly towards the seal.

The seal, which had been sunbathing, looks up every 30 seconds to keep an eye out for predators. Every time the seal looks up, Angani stops and waits before walking towards the seal again. When Angani is close enough to shoot the seal, he lays down on ice, holds his breath and pulls the trigger. The seal, wrapped in a layer of blubber, is able to slide down quickly into his ice hole. Angani comes back with no prey. Hunting requires much patience. Another Inuit had spent over five days looking for a polar bear, without ever finding it. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

An appreciation for the land

My days are spent blowing cold embers to rekindle the fire, heating water for tea, running a photography time-lapse, collecting firewood, watching the weather, spotting the next passage of the river to cross, and finding a place for the campsite.

These simple actions take on new meaning when you live minimally, and so close to nature. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience this in different expeditions, wandering through various countries and landscapes.

Campsite behind Kuummiut settlement in East Greenland
Campsite behind Kuummiut settlement in East Greenland
Morning cloud cover over Tasermiut fjord
Morning cloud cover over Tasermiut fjord

Benefiting from these experiences has allowed me to have a better understanding and appreciation of protecting the environment, and preserving age-old Arctic traditions and customs.

As I’ve gone on long hikes and revelled in the beauty of a wild place, it’s always been important to take care of the fragile and unique beauty of places like Greenland. The landscape is so unreal that pictures carry only a sliver of the magic. But my hope is that they inspire others to seek out traveling to these places for their own peace and serenity.

Northern lights with a shooting star over the town of Tasiilaq in East Greenland
Northern lights with a shooting star over the town of Tasiilaq in East Greenland

Photos of our planet

I arrived in Greenland with a very heavy backpack, loaded with food and water. Over time our resources depleted, making our bags lighter – but now I am filled with memories and emotions from my time here.

I believe that photography can make a real connection to people, and can be used as a positive tool for understanding the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. Photos can convey so much to a person, and now that I’m going home, I’m ready for my next adventure.

What a nice place to set you campsite for few days
Trying to catch the moment
In summer when huge iceberg of hundred meters high melt, they can take special and beautiful forms
Wild horses running in front of the iceberg in South Greenland
Resting on dogsled on way back to home after two day of hunt
Hiking behind Kuummiut settlement with a rifle to prevent polar bear attacks
At the dock of Nanortalik all was quiet while the pink color of the evening arrived
Long iceberg behind the mountain of Tasiilaq. There is more and more iceberg floating on the sea during summer as the glaciers melt faster. It makes the navigation complicated in the area and might impact the Inuit.

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