September 7, 2010
I spent the first 2 weeks in May 2005 in the region and we had a very good trip. The snow conditions were a mix of powder and corn and the weather was reasonable allowing 9.5 flying days out of a possible 14 days. The snow conditions were perfect for exploring which was the nature of the trip. In 2006 I spent 3 weeks in the region arriving the last week in April. We had good powder skiing and some spring skiing the first week, a mix again the 2nd week and perfect spring skiing on the 3rd week. As we were leaving the snow was powder again. The spring skiing was by a far the highlight although it nice to have a mix of conditions. In 2006 we flew 17 out of 21 days.
In 2007 we had a bad week where we only got out on 3 days however the weather then cleared and stayed fine for 13 days allowing us 16 days Heliskiing out of 21.
In 2006 &2007 we did overnight trips to a small Inuit village approx 100 Km to the North and stayed in the local school house. This was quite an adventure but involved arranging sleeping bags and catering to be supplied as well as a lot of logistics but it did make for a fantastic cultural experience and a chance to explore some amazing terrain.
In 2008 we had a delayed start due to our helicopter being stuck by weather in Southern Greenland. It had left a week earlier from the base in Nuuk but a persistent storm prevented its arrival until mid week. On arrival the weather was settled and over a 4 week period we had 20 flying days out of 28. On bad weather days we got out ski touring almost every day and on occasion combined ski touring with dog sledding to access different terrain.
September 5, 2010
In Iceland my preference was the Hotel SAS1919 which is centrally located and close to the domestic airport where the flight to Greenland departs. There are a number of other options available at varying prices depending on location to the center of Reyjkavik. Hotel costs in Iceland are not included in the package.
In Greenland we stay in the hotel Kulusuk which is a new hotel with good facilities close to the Kulusuk Airport. The dining room has an amazing outlook over the sea ice toward the mountains.
It is 30 minutes walk into the small Kulusuk fishing village. Kulusuk is one of the last hunter gatherer communities left in Greenland and the village is an interesting place to visit.
September 3, 2010
We have chartered a B3 helicopter with emergency floats etc from Greenland Air. Air Greenland owns a fleet of very new helicopters which are predominantly used to service transmitters surrounding the numerous small villages and for mineral exploration. In recent years there has been a lot of heliskiing on the West Coast which has covered the traditional quiet season. I have been impressed with the quality and maintenance of the aircraft and the flying skills of pilots I have had to date. An engineer based nearby checks the machine every week.
The helicopters are comparatively more expensive to charter than anywhere else I have been (except Antarctica) and we have to pay a location cost to bring the machine from the base in Nuuk on the west coast. It is big contract to sign and involves a bank guarantee for extra flying and a minimum number of hours paid in accordance with an advance schedule.
We are on the East Coast of Greenland and helicopter arrivals etc can be delayed by weather and mechanical problems can cause longer delays! There are backup aircraft in the region and the helicopters are the newest most modern machines I have ever flown in.