AS SEEN IN THE 2012 FREESKIER BACKCOUNTRY EDITION—WRITTEN AND SKIED BY DANA FLAHR, PHOTOGRAPHED BY ADAM CLARK_SHERPAS.
WHEN OUR SMALL PLANE LANDED ON AN OLD WWII GRAVEL AIRSTRIP in Kulusuk, Greenland, we unloaded our bags to a dogsled and walked over the frozen ocean for almost half an hour to town. Then, it was a 30-minute heli ride to the middle of nowhere, where we were based for seven days. I’ll never forget that feeling of the heli flying away.
Callum Pettit, Dave Mossap, Ingrid Backstrom, Johnny Collinson, photographer Adam Clark, guide Geoff Osler and I were based on a flat glacier with 270-degree views of ski lines (ramps, mini golf, cornice airs) and 90 degrees of ocean views with mammoth chunks of ice protruding out of the water.
Aspects that didn’t see light until 9 p.m. harbored good snow. Every day we skied a fair amount of powder. One day, our guide and I hiked a rocky ridge in our boots, practically bouldering at times, to access a couloir we could see from camp. It was a big gash in the mountain that reminded me of a skinnier version of Blackcomb’s DOA. The view from the top of the run overshadowed the descent, which was affected by a top-to-bottom trough created by the slough cycle.
On Mossop’s birthday, we hiked lines all day. He was alone for awhile and later confessed he was sun bathing buck naked on the rocks. We burned a couple cardboard boxes that night, listened to music on Callum’s mini speaker, drank a bit of scotch and watched Ingrid dance.
The natives hunted a polar bear and, we saw it returning to town on dogsleds an hour after it was shot. The entire village emerged to celebrate the first kill of the season, which was much more exciting than the gringo tourists who after two cancelled flights, left the island the following day.
See last week's adventure featuring Chris Benchetler and Nate Abbott in The Gauntlet, CO.