Safety

Emergency numbers

Disclaimer: We do not keep these numbers up to date! Do your own research!

 Who Number
Tasiilaq Police Satellite Number 88 16 31 42 63 32
Tasiilaq Police +299 98 14 48
Hospital +299 98 12 11
Taxi +299 49 65 22
Taxi +299 59 82 22
Hotel Amassalik +299 98 12 93

Specific Hazards

Canyon Navigation

The section of the trip between Lake 168 and Mittivakkat glacier consists of a series of deep canyons, which have to be navigated. For most part, the canyons are passable. However, it is difficult to impossible to keep to the exact route description.

  • Start the trip early to have extra time
  • Use GPS as well as map and compass
  • Go clockwise on the loop (backwards from route description) to do the difficult sections in the beginning of the trip.

Traverse above Sermilik station

The route description warns about a steep slope to be traversed 25m above the water. The slope is shown on the picture and looks somewhat dangerous, since it gets steeper close to the water, and if you fall, you fall into the fjord. Luckily, there was a path leading across the slope – hopefully it’s there all the time. The path is on the picture.

Slope behind Sermilik station

Navigation around Mittivakkat glacier

The route description warns about difficult navigation around the Mittivakkat glacier (the detour option, 3.1a), after the traverse. The terrain is difficult, but not dangerous. The most unpleasant part of the detour (besides river corssings, below) is a climb on a steep moraine with unstable rock just after crossing the first glacial stream.

River crossings

On the route, there are six river crossings described as “fording” in the book. In practice we only had to cross three. The water was just above knee-deep, but the stream was sometimes strong. Overall, all three crossings can be done by two or more people on foot, without technical equipment. All three rivers feed directly from a nearby glacier; so if unsure, wait until early next morning – there will be a lot less water in them.

Polar bears

There is very little chance to meet a polar bear in that area, however the chance is not zero. In August they are unlikely to be hungry, and a hunter is likely to be nearby, since they track new bears that enter the area. We decided that we won’t carry deterrents. However, do your own research for your specific trip!