(ED—We visited with Tony Jenkins about his epic snowmobile trip to Greenland this past spring and got a whole lot of information about his multi-day trip. Because of all the information—and photos—we’re breaking the story up into two parts. This is Part 2 of 2. Part 1 is here: https://www.snowest.com/2019/11/tony-jenkins-trip-of-a). **NOTE** Due to the volume of photos we're using with this story, these are photos from Days 6-8.
In Part 1 of Tony Jenkins’ epic trip to snowmobile in Greenland, there was a lot of time spent on the ship getting to the riding destinations farther north on the island.
It wasn’t until the third day that the group got to finally ride. But then, it was five days straight of riding in different locations, all on the western side of Greenland. As Jenkins pointed out to us, the riding wasn’t overly technical but more of an adventure exploring areas that have never seen a snowmobile before—and likely won’t ever see again.
Earlier this fall Jenkins gave us a pretty good rundown of this adventure, which included 13 nights on the ship Tulugaq or “Tulu” for short (Jenkins’ “home” for the duration of his time in Greenland) and six days of snowmobiling.
We covered days 1-3 in Part 1 of the story and now will focus on days 4-8. We’ll proceed with a brief report on the daily happenings of the trip, which started in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. The group headed north on Tulu along the western side of Greenland to Disko Bay, a trip of several hundred kilometers. Part of the adventure would take place near Qeqertarsuaq, a small village on Disko Island. After a few days of riding in this area, the group would head back south to Nuuk, riding at various spots along the way.
The group’s first day of riding was on Disko Island, which is where the group would ride the second day as well. “We wanted to ride further into [the interior] of Disko Island,” Jenkins said. “We found the best snow was located on the glaciers so we used the glaciers to navigate and cover more terrain while not worrying about all the rocks that were exposed. We knew the avalanche danger was high and took cautious decisions when it came to navigating valleys and mountains.”
The group found out just how high the avalanche danger was as one rider in the group broke some snow loose while climbing. Fortunately, there were no consequences and the group was safe.
Once back to the ship, the group loaded their sleds onboard and secured them for an overnight ride on Tulu to the mainland. It was an eight-hour ship trip to the mainland.
Tulu was anchored off shore so the group used the ship’s crane to load sleds onto a small boat and transport them to land. The riding goal that day was to make it to Saqqaq to ride some “very big mountain ranges.” Jenkins said, “The first day was more of an exploring day and we quickly realized there wasn’t much snow because of all the wind.” He then explained the snow conditions. “Once you get this far north into the Arctic Circle (70 degrees N), the air becomes very dry, as if you’re in a high mountain desert. If you’ve experienced Colorado dry snow, this stuff was either all ice or straight sugar snow.”
After the day’s ride, there was a lot of map studying to see if the group could get through the mountains to a massive glacier which would allow them to see a bay that was across the peninsula from where Tulu was anchored. With a plan in mind, the group retired for the night.
The day’s ride was basically between Saqqaq, on the southern part of the peninsula, and Uummannaq, which is on the northern side of the peninsula
“This day of riding for me was the most memorable ride with unbelievable views,” Jenkins said. “Riding this area was pretty nerve racking, mainly because you couldn’t trust the snow. Either it was sugar or ice. It wasn’t snow that you dare drop a ski in and give it full throttle.”
The group made it through several steep mountain passes and onto the glacier. Once on the glacier the group could “cover some serious ground.” At one point later in the ride, Jenkins said, “… it was full on ‘enduromobiling,’ which meant getting around boulders, frozen rivers and chunks of ice. We made it to the top of the glacier and kept riding until we could see the land mark of Uummannaq.
“The views were unbelievable. Not a cloud in the sky and this is where we could see the Greenland Ice Cap that rose up into the horizon.”
After taking in the views, it was time to head back to the ship. “It was the end of the day and we were all on empty,” Jenkins said. “It’s pretty easy to drain a tank of fuel when the terrain is so vast. You definitely lose track of time and sense of how far you have traveled.”
The group traveled 180 kilometers (112 miles) that day.
The group loaded their sleds on Tulu, secured them and then embarked on a 20-hour trip south to Sisimiut.
The trip from Saqqaq to Sisimiut spilled over into day 7. Once the group arrived in Sisimiut, they quickly unloaded their sleds for a quick tour of the riding area. They went through town and headed for the big peaks behind the village. “It was a quick tour,” Jenkins said, “But I felt I got to see some great terrain and got an idea that if I was to come back to ride in Greenland, this is where I’d come to stay.”
The ride was short but good and afterwards, the group loaded their sleds on Tulu to get ready to sail another 10 hours to the next—and final—riding spot on Greenland.
The riding area was about halfway between Sisimiut and Nuuk. “This area had some of the biggest mountain ranges and views that would go for hundreds of miles,” Jenkins said.
A portion of the ride was on glaciers, which Jenkins noted, allow you to cover lots of territory but come with their own dangers. “This is where I was a little nervous because crevasses were an issue and you could see them everywhere. So you knew in your mind that you had to be vigilant and ware of where you were at all times. At one point, I was following one of the guys and all of a sudden I found a three-foot gap that had opened up. I instantly hit the throttle and lifted the skis over the gap and continued on. I didn’t dare look back because I didn’t want to know how far that hole went.”
After the day’s ride, it was time to head back to the ship to make the final leg back to Nuuk.
“All in all, for me, this trip is going to be the most memorable snowmobile trip I have ever taken,” Jenkins said. “It wasn’t just the riding; it was getting the chance to meet so many incredibly nice people and to be using a ship to access many unique riding areas.”
The group rode a total of six days and spent nearly 90 hours sailing in the icy waters of Greenland.