Where we could, we would choose the line down as we climbed,

November 5, 2013

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Finding skiing paradise in Greenland

cheap moncler outlet Silence that is the overwhelming impression I have whenever thinking of Greenland. Even for someone like me who spends his life in moncler coats for cheap the mountains, it’s striking for there to be a complete absence of sound no machinery, no people, no animals even. The silence takes you out of time and you lose a sense of cheap moncler jackets your own significance. It can be a moncler jackets outlet little unsettling at first but then you come to accept that the purity and vastness of the landscape is more Official Moncler Outlet important than you, and you start to feel in harmony with it.

cheap moncler outlet mall moncler jackets I’ve been a professional cheap moncler big mountain freerider for 12 discount moncler outlet years. Under pressure from sponsors, I competed on the Freeride World Tour moncler jackets toronto from 2008 to 2011 but I found photo and film shoots much more satisfying. So French director Laurent Jamet and I came up with the idea of moncler outlet location shooting a film about skiing in untouched parts moncler outlet kids of the world including Russia, Patagonia Discount Moncler Coats and Greenland using unconventional ways to reach the slopes, such as horses or boats rather than helicopters. Unfortunately, in 2013 when we were filming our movie Rise, there was not enough snow moncler coats in Greenland, so we decided that the sequel, Sedna, should be all about this wonderful place. The environment is changing the ice cap that covers Greenland’s interior is receding so this trip might not be possible in a few decades’ time.

The man who would get us moncler chicago to remote peaks in the fjord that runs inland from the capital, Nuuk (population 16,500), on the west coast, moncler coats for women was Thierry Dubois. He won the 1993 Transat 6.50 solo yacht race from France to Brazil and came fourth behind Ellen MacArthur in the 2000 solo Transat from Plymouth to the US. In 2001 he built the 19m schooner La Louise. With its reinforced hull made of wood, fiberglass and Kevlar, plus moncler outlet uk an additional aluminium hull sheet to cope cheap moncler jackets wholesale with Arctic ice, its well equipped to take clients to Greenland’s untamed slopes.

This year’s best freeride skis

We arrived in late April and immediately a snowstorm came in, promising excellent conditions once it cleared. Generally around Nuuk you don’t have massive snowfalls like in the Alps. It will snow 20cm or 30cm, then the wind will pick up, which, combined with the humidity from the sea, compacts the snow before a new storm arrives. Because of this, we were hopeful there wouldn’t be too much avalanche danger.

cheap moncler After the storm, Thierry navigated to our first landing spot on discount moncler jackets the island of South West https://www.kinkhost.com Storo, a journey of almost 24 hours. The following moncler outlet online morning, we were ferried ashore moncler coats for men on La Louise’s RIB [Rigid Inflatable Boat] in two groups, laden with equipment. By 8am we began skinning up a nameless peak. That’s the moncler jacket online case with many of the mountains in Greenland they have no name simply because no one has ever climbed them.

moncler outlet store Beginning our ascent from sea level and climbing to 1,105m, rather than what we cheap moncler coats for women were more used to when ski touring ascending from around 2,500m to the upper 3,000s made progress much easier as there wasn’t the lack of oxygen that you have at high altitude. But, on the other hand, the proximity of the ocean meant we were often walking against the wind. We were carrying everything we would for a high Alpine environment ice axes, crampons etc but the terrain was free of ice. And, as hoped, the snow was perfect and the avalanche risk was low rather than big slabs breaking, the worst we could expect would be a sloughing of snow.

cheap moncler coats Three moncler jackets hours later, we completed the ascent. Whenever you reach a summit for the first time, the view is a wonderful surprise, but I was unprepared for what greeted us at the top on the first day. We could see two more branches of the fjord, and our floating home appeared moncler jacket outlet as a tiny dot in the bay. After a few moments of reflection, we began our descent. You don’t often get the opportunity to ski with water filling your vision like that. But we had to be careful not to get overexcited attack too fast and we’d risk injury. There was no helicopter rescue or hospital nearby and it would be a problem if we needed to get off the mountain quickly. So we only skied to 60 or 70 per cent of our capacity not dropping cliffs much bigger than 5m and avoiding more complex lines and no fall zones. Still, the descent would only have taken five or 10 minutes had we not kept stopping to film each rider’s line.

monlcer down jackets Our slightly slower pace gave us plenty of time to appreciate the surroundings, and we felt energised by what we’d experienced as we returned to the boat our mountain refuge afloat on the ocean. The temperature in Greenland during April and May is similar to that of March in Europe, so we would spend time sitting on the deck watching the shore pass by. It was also so calm in the protected moncler jackets canada fjords moncler jackets outlet online that we quietly motored rather than sailed and when we did sail, we didn’t move very fast. With the sun setting after 10 at night, we were able to head to our next location each evening and still have enough light to scout it out with binoculars. There were stars everywhere.

On a couple of nights we saw the Northern Lights too the first time I’d seen them. They weren’t like the huge curtains of blue and green I’ve seen on TV. Rather, a line of colour would stretch out like a jet trail, then another moncler jackets men one would shoot off at a tangent.

buy moncler outlet online store moncler jackets Thierry had brought most of the provisions from France. He and his first mate, Hayet, cooked us good, simple food but the highlight was something raw, slices of cod ceviche, it could not have been fresher, since we caught the fish ourselves there was a line of hooks from the back of the boat and we’d just haul fish in whenever there was a moncler outlet usa bite.

moncler sale Over the next few days, we climbed and skied the 1,250m Qajuta and a 1,150m peak we named Horseshoe. In Greenland you can enjoy very different terrain in quite a small area. You could be on one mountain as steep and craggy as those found in Chamonix, France, while looking across to a gentle hill that wouldn’t be out of place in the low mountains of the French Vosges. So we descended gentle snow fields but also plunged down steep couloirs. Where we could, we would choose the line down as we climbed, but if we moncler outlet couldn’t approach from that direction, we relied on our experience feeling, seeing and hearing the snow beneath us to know whether it was safe to let rip. On one of these, we visited the remote fishing village of Kapisilitt. Sitting in a sheltered bay, this collection of brightly coloured houses is home to fewer than 100 Inuit. We arrived just as school was ending for the morning. The people were very friendly and fascinated by why we were there. To Moncler Outlet uk get past the language barrier, we communicated with sign language and touch they’re very tactile people.

moncler sale outlet Perception is an interesting thing. For us, this village seemed like a place of freedom, away from civilisation and near these incredible mountains, but the locals gave us the impression that for them it is more like a prison surrounded by snow, there is no escape. Earlier in the trip, we had met moncler outlet store some whalers returning to Nuuk the Inuit are allowed to hunt a limited number of whales because it is an important source of nourishment and fuel for them. This might appear abhorrent to many people but, again, it’s a matter of perception. We were invited on board their whaling boat Moncler Factory Outlet and Anne Flore tested a bit of whale she said it was like chewing gum.

Skiing in the wilds of Montenegro

moncler outlet In the afternoon, we walked across a frozen plain from Kapisilitt to the magnificent Kangiata Nunaata Sermia glacier, 4km away. This huge glacier connects the ice cap to the moncler outlets uk sea, calving huge slabs of blue ice into the fjord. Our guide carried a rifle, in case we encountered a curious polar bear. Sadly, we didn’t see any bears, but thankfully we did not have to fire at one.

moncler outlet sale With the sun out the next day, we cheap moncler jackets outlet took to sea again, aiming for the north face of Naujanguit. On moncler jackets kids the way, we encountered a surprise: “Iceberg!”. The strong winds had blown small blocks moncler jackets for women of ice into the fjord, so Thierry carefully slalomed around them. Then we saw one that was large enough to moor moncler outlet canada up to, allowing us to step on to it. A few metres across, it looked like a tiny mountain range. The ice was the deepest blue I’ve ever seen the surface polished as pieces break off and the iceberg rolls. Once we reached Naujanguit, we enjoyed a straight moncler outlet ny 950m descent from summit to sea.

cheap moncler sale Our greatest challenge came the following day, the ascent of the 1,616m Qingap a six hour climb. We started in the afternoon, because we wanted to be on the moncler coats outlet mountain to capture on film the special light that comes at sunset in Greenland. We took turns to break trail to conserve each other’s energy. After 10 days in Greenland we moncler outlets usa were getting tired, and Richard missed the day through illness. The rest of us split into groups to ride different pitches for the cameras, all in perfect powder. Towards the end of the day, Nicolas and Anne Flore descended while Phil and I headed to the summit. Our cameraman positioned himself on a lower ridge to capture us skiing down.

moncler outlet online When we stood at the top of the mountain, watching the last of the sunlight disappear, the colours were insane. Instead of the striking contrast of the deep blue sea and brilliant white snow (which we had still not got used to), the dipping sun turned the slopes into a coral pink and the water a deep purple, against an orange and gold sky. It was stunning. The final run was probably the scariest of the trip at 10.30pm, with the light fading, we had to be particularly careful. But we’d already had our reward.

moncler mens jackets We were woken in the middle of the night because La Louise was dancing on the water in 50 knot winds. Rain forced us to spend the following day inside our floating refuge, and once the storm passed our moncler outlet woodbury time in this country was up. We had no complaints because Greenland had already given us so much.

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