Greenland Ice Sheet, Point 660
The edge of Greenland's ice sheet
The Greenland Ice Sheet is a fantastic natural formation that has developed over millions of years as layers of compacted snow and ice, gasses, dust and water accumulated. Although the landscape appears to be a frozen mass that has stood unchanged for eons, the Ice Sheet is active just like a living, breathing, evolving organism. In fact, with an average thickness of 2- to 3-kilometers (1.25-1.75 miles), the immense weight continues to push the ice outward toward the sea, which is why this so-called inland ice sheet can also be seen along much of Greenland’s coast.
As the excursion to Point 660 begins, our 4WD-vehicle or coach will pass Kangerlussuaq’s makeshift golf course, a miniature forest of conifers and a roughly 400-meter high cone-shaped rock called Sugarloaf.
As Kangerlussuaq fades in the distance, we enter a stunning landscape of mountains, plains and semi-desert valleys. The route to the Greenland Ice Sheet winds along the beautiful valley of Sandflugtsdal and its equally long, milky turquoise meltwater river. The terrain alternates between fertile moor and dense scrub with sandy dunes and barren mountain slopes. By Greenlandic standards, this landscape is mild with rich flora and speckled with lakes, yet it is still relatively arid.
A few kilometers from the ice sheet’s outer periphery lies the Russel Glacier, an impressive sight with vertical ice walls rising as high as 60 meters.
Our final destination, Point 660, is nearby at the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Its towering backdrop of glacial foothills stretches from north to south as far as the eye can see, and is quite a remarkable sight to behold. You will have the opportunity to explore the surrounding area on foot and breathe in the ice sheet’s one-of-a-kind atmosphere.
PLEASE NOTICE: Be aware that the surface of the ice can be slippery and uneven. To access the ice sheet you have to be able to ascend and descend icy hills via a curvy path that has been prepared for walking, but not everyone finds it easy. Some people might benefit from bringing hiking poles or wearing spikes/light crampons underneath your soles.
After an hour on the ice, we will have time to warm-up on the bus as we drive through Greenland’s beautiful tundra landscape during our return to Kangerlussuaq. There is a good chance we will spot reindeer, musk oxen and, depending on the season, many species of birds and flowers.
- Warm drink