As you read this Lucas Debari, Ralph Backstrom, Hilaree O'neill, and John Collinson are in the midst of a North Face expedition to Greenland’s remote Karale glacier. Once there the crew will set up camp at the base of peaks that tower above Karale and search out descents for the next month. Before he went off the grid Lucas had a chance to slip us this blog from the tiny town of Kuummiit, the trip’s staging point.
It has been three days since our team of unique individuals left the comfort of our homes and families in pursuit of adventure. With a quick pit stop in Reykjavik, Iceland we jumped on a smaller plane to the tiny town of Kulusuk, located on an island surrounded by pack ice in East Greenland.
With grey skies and very little visibility, it was not until we woke the next morning that we got our first glimpse of the terrain that Greenland had to offer. The four of us athletes stood outside our airplane hanger of a hotel and mentally shredded tons of couloirs and faces that were visible from our stance. The snow looked wind affected up to about 500 meters with great looking, clean snow above that. We all sat there grinning at the endless possibilities. The weather was splitter blue with a very light wind.
The mission for the day was to take a boat up the Angmagssalik Fjord to another small town named Kuummiit. From there, it is a full day on dogsleds up to the Karale glacier where we plan on setting up our base camp.
To say that it was a scenic boat ride would be quite the understatement. Around every corner, unbelievable trophy lines were appearing. We all stared in awe, frothing as we visualized hundreds of descents straight down to the ocean. The water was glassy and calm as we wove our way around pack ice and icebergs the size of department stores. As we encroached on Kuummiit we could see the tops of the peaks situated to the north of town. It is those rugged, craggy peaks with amazing looking summits that make up the Caledonian Alps and the destination of our expedition.
I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation, but I do believe in karma, and whoever lived with my soul prior to myself must have done some really incredible shit. I cannot even comprehend how lucky I am to be able to experience moments like these. There are few times in my life where I can confidently say that there is no other place in the world I would rather be, and this was for sure one of them.
Stay tuned for the full print feature and video from the expedition dropping this fall.