Part of the way up Illerfissalik’s neighbour Qaraju

Two days after ascending Nuuluk, I have the opportunity to go on another hike. The other two members of the video team Jessica and Terryll will continue shooting for two hours as I run ahead of them, hoping to go as high on Illerfissalik as possible, before returning to rendezvous with them on the plateau at 5pm. The terrain on Illerfissalik is wonderful – solid rock slabs for the ascent, and loose scree for the descent. Upon reaching 850 metres of elevation, I am cut off from the ascent route of Illerfissalik by a roaring stream of meltwater. It is too fast-moving to ford without partners, and a sketchy snow bridge offers an even less appealing crossing point. After having a snack and considering my options, I decide to stay on the South side of this torrent, and pick my way up the ridge leading up 1457 metre Qaraju instead. I make it to 1000 metres above sea level and the time is 4pm. I need to return to the plateau and meet up with the others.

I find Jessica and Terryll at the viewpoint and junction leading to the Blue Ice Camp, and my spirit of adventure persuades them to traverse the plateau on our way back to Igaliku, rather than dropping down a gully and taking the road. There is a route marked on both topographic maps that we have after all. It turns out to be more map and compass than we bargain for, and we’re all a bit bagged by the time we can safely get off of the plateau and return to the road. It is all amazing landscape nevertheless!

The route
The route
Red dots marking the route towards the plateau from above Lake 35
Red dots marking the route towards the plateau from above Lake 35
Moonlike landscape on the lower slopes of Illerfissalik. The plateau disappears into the distance
Moonlike landscape on the lower slopes of Illerfissalik. The plateau disappears into the distance
Dinosaur eggs on the ridge leading up Qaraju
Dinosaur eggs on the ridge leading up Qaraju
Illerfissalik looming 700 metres above where I turned around at 1000 metres above sea level
Illerfissalik looming 700 metres above where I turned around (at 1000 metres above sea level)
Qooqqut ice fjord and Qooqup Sermia. My map tells me that this glacier produces 200,000 tons of ice in a day
Qooqqut ice fjord and Qooqup Sermia. My map tells me that this glacier produces 200,000 tons of ice in a day, and that it is considered to be ‘small’
traversing the plateau with Jessica and Terryll
traversing the plateau with Jessica and Terryll
The mountain Nuuluk in the warm evening light
The mountain Nuuluk in the warm evening light
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