Trekking Greenland – Unplugged Wilderness Day 5

We awoke on Day 5 of the Unplugged Wilderness Trek to lots of cloud, but at least no rain or drizzle … already an improvement over Day 4!   After breakfast and while we packed up camp, Maxime crossed back over the river to assist the boat drivers in re-loading the gear that we’d left over there the day before. 

The speedboat pulled up to the rocks where they had incorrectly left our gear yesterday

Our gear was left on these rocks.  Unfortunately, there was nowhere to camp on that side of the river

Meanwhile, we carried everything else over to a different pickup point that did not require a river crossing, and helped them load the rest of the gear once they came around.

The group helping to re-load the rest of our gear into the speedboats, dramatic mountain in the background

Yes – rocks here as well. But at least we didn’t have to cross a river to get to our campsite

The day started with us hiking along the Sermiligaaq Fjord, with lots of very moody half-vistas across the water.

Several vistas of the cloud-shrouded Sermiligaaq fjord

I really like photographing (though not so much trekking) in weather like this

But the most challenging part of today’s hike was the fact that for the first few hours we were trekking along a 45 degree angled slope, which eventually started playing havoc on the ankles (if you didn’t have full hiking boots at least).

Trekking companions hiking along the shore of the Sermiligaaq Fjord on 45 degree slopes

Yet another reason my Salomon trail shoes were not appropriate for this trek

We also enjoyed more freezing river crossings

Two images showing how we would cross rivers on the trek

For significant river crossings we would change from hiking boots into sandals. Then change back again once we’d reached the other side. You know it’s cold if Maxime has his beanie on!!

and were all very happy when it finally flattened out.

Trekking companions hiking along the shores of the Sermiligaaq Fjord

Level ground was such a relief!

We hiked along a river which we just knew we’d have to cross

Trekking companions hiking beside a fast-flowing stream with fog-shrouded mountains in the background

and were all very relieved when Maxime’s “90%-certain” promise of a bridge turned out to be accurate.

Trekking companions crossing a very dilapidated bridge over the river

This was a very welcome sight indeed!

This deposited us at Bluie East Two, an old American WWII air base that was destroyed and abandoned in 1947 at the conclusion of the war.  It still stands as it was left 70 years ago, with little (nothing?) having been done to clean it up.

Various images of the rusted debris left at the abandonded Bluie East Two airbase

There are dozens of rusted vehicles half-buried in the earth

Various images of the rusted remains and vehicles of the abandoned Bluie East Two airbase

the skeleton of a large hanger

Closer images of the rusted hanger at the abandoned Bluie East Two airbase

It really does look like a skeleton

and an unfathomable number of rusted fuel barrels that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Various images of the rusted hanger and fuel barrels at the abandoned Bluie East Two airbase

It is, perhaps, the very last thing you would expect to encounter in such an otherwise pristine environment – which makes it quite a surreal experience.  Especially since we were the only ones there!

Our camping equipment was dropped at the correct spot today (it would have been hard to miss!) and we set up camp on what was the dock for the site.

Wide view of our campsite at Bluie East Two and looking across the Sermiligaaq Fjord

This was by far the easiest campsite to find level ground to pitch the tent on

Trekking Time:  approximately 7 hours

Read more about the Unplugged Wilderness Trek

If this post has piqued your curiosity about hiking and trekking in East Greenland, read about the rest of my adventure on the the 12-day Unplugged Wilderness Tour with Greenland Adventures by Icelandic Mountain Guides:

  • Day 1 – Tasiilaq to Kulusuk and along the Sermiligaaq Fjord 
  • Day 2 – Hike to the Karale Glacier
  • Day 3 – Hike to the lookout over Sermiligaaq Fjord and Karale Fjord
  • Day 4 – Karale Fjord camp to Beach camp
  • Day 5 – Beach camp to Bluie East Two
  • Day 6 – Bluie East Two along the Ikateq strait to the Tunu Fjord
  • Day 7 – Tunup Kua Valley to Tasiilaq Fjord
  • Day 8 – Along the Tasiilaq Fjord
  • Day 9 – Tasiilaq Fjord to Tasiilaq Mountain Hut
  • Day 10 – Tasiilaq Mountain Hut
  • Day 11 – Tasiilaq Mountain Hut to Tasiilaq Fjord to Kulusuk
  • Day 12 – Kulusuk to Reykjavik
  • Video Slideshow – of some of my favourite images

If it has sparked an interest in Greenland more generally, learn more about this amazing country at Visit Greenland, and check out the wide range of tours of all kinds (not just hiking and trekking) at Guide to Greenland.  

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