This section is a compilation of trip reports from 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Rather than repeat the similar stories from several different viewpoints, I decided to simply merge them into one large grouping of photos with stories, in a "locale order".
This photo (of me - the webmaster) kind of sums up my feelings about 2003's adventure...
On the third or fourth day several of us decided to camp out at Kangerlussaq. We spent the day preparing our campsite, and then surveying the area for likely spots. After a day of exploration, cliff climbing, and collecting it was time to eat. It was getting windy and quite chilly, so I found some (extremely rare) driftwood and started a fire to keep warm. Beans and hot-dogs really hit the spot and we were all looking forward to a night of collecting in this very remote area.
We were not disappointed! Kangerlussaq offered up some marvelous specimens of tugtupite with polylithionite, sodalite and several unknowns.
After a night of collecting we were looking forward to climbing into our nice tent and warm sleeping bags - only to find that the wind had other plans. The tent was flattened, so we each picked a nice rock to hide behind and crawled into our sleeping bags for what turned out to be a great night's sleep. The next morning we returned to some of the spots we marked during the night and recovered more great specimens using our "UV tents" - A very fruitful spot.
Camping at Kangerlussaq - People are often surprised by the vastness of the locales. This picture was taken from one of the cliffs above Kangerlussaq showing our campsite one year in the valley (invisible white dots).
Kakortokite layering (Kringerline) from the Kangerlussaq Fjord - We night lamped Kangerlussaq with varying degrees of success and spent the next day exploring. At the end of the day I was ready to take Kangerlussaq off the list of places to visit (folks had much better luck at other locales) when Herb Y. made an outstanding discovery. Using his excellent detective skills he located a vein of very unusual (and extremely bright) tugtupite combo pieces. These pieces are filled with a myriad of unknown FL minerals, and may possibly be some of the nicest material from the complex. It was too late in the day on Sunday to start mining it so plans were made to go back and excavate later in the week (after the tour was over).
Expecting to find beryllium (for some odd reason) this guy wore the appropriate dress. Note the smile on his face - this was before he climbed the mountain behind him to get to the top of Kvanefjeld. Being his first day he was cocky and raring to go.
In the background is the old uranium mine, and above that the summit of Kvanefjeld. A two hour walk/climb and we spent the day atop Kvanefjeld. I told him that when he got up there the ground would be glowing red from all the tug - he didn't believe me. Now he does....
I have no idea what this guy's laughing about. He's about to climb the same mountain - and HE KNOWS what he's in for. He was with us last year. Howie was a great guy to have along - always up and fun - and kept me supplied with PB&J!
Some of the "adventurers" couldn't wait until they climbed the mountains - they simply started picking up rocks in the fields.... It's a good thing John didn't have to carry the rocks he found below up - there were plenty to carry down.
Pic to the left shows the only female member of the tour relaxing after climbing Kvanefjeld (of course examining a piece of tugtupite she found on the way up).
Kvanefjeld yielded the typical tugtupite specimens, along with some new varieties we haven't seen before. I finally succeeded in busting up this big boulder of chkalovite/tugtupite that I had been working at for two years (actually, the coup-de-grace was delivered by the only female member of the group - well done Kathy!!!!
think the whole group developed a friendship that made the adventure so much better - one we will all remember for a long time to come.
Arrival in Narsarsuak Greenland.
After a very long plane ride from the USA, through Iceland, to Greenland (24 hours), 7 people arrvied in Narsasuak. We got all our gear and loaded into two boats for the trip to Narsaq. 7 people complete with camping supplies makes for quite a load. (The 2nd boat is not in the picture). (Yes - that's an iceberg up against the boat dock)
This is when everyone gets their first taste of the majestic and vast mountains and fjords. It's a 90 minute boat ride to Narsaq, much of it through the very complex we have come to explore.
Majestic scenery everywhere, especially when traveling by boat (that's glacial melt making that river).
Icebergs are everywhere, and the most beautiful ones are the blues ones. Sometimes the ice is so thick in the fjords we simply cannot take the boat out.
Tugtup Aktoforia - Boat landing, the only way to access this remote area in the Tunuliarfik fjord. The cliffs above contain excellent specimens of gemmy sodalite and ussingite.
Tugtupite in-situ at Tugtup Aktoforia - the type locale. The mica mineral is epistolite. We ascended the cliffs of Tunuliarfik for a day (and night for some) of wonderful collecting. Fantastic specimens of tugtupite/polylithionite and ussingite were among the finds. One member found a cropping of very rare tundrite (non FL). 4 people spent the night on Tunuliarfik - sans tent or sleeping bag - it was a cold night!
Ussingite in-situ - the cliffs of Tunuliarfik
A large slab of tugtupite busted off a cliff - from the type locale for tugtupite
Examining specimens at the water's edge
A very happy webmaster with a wonderful haul of Taseq Tugtupite
My favorite spot! Many days were spent atop Tasaq (view looking east towards Ilimaussaq). We found a tremendous variety of minerals never seen (by us) before. Note the cloud covering the valley to the left. This day was beautiful in the mountains, while in the village (Narsaq) is was cloudy and drizzling. I often camped out alone on the mountain after everyone left (pure solitude) and had a blast (although I must admit it was more enjoyable having the others around to share the excitement of finding all these wonderful rocks).
Wasn't all a piece of cake! Some years the stream we have to cross to climb the Taseq Slope was swollen with glacial melt and almost impassable. I decided to ship over a couple pairs of hip waders and that got us over somewhat easier.
View of the valley between Kvanefjeld and the Taseq Slope
Narsaq Airport (Helipad)
One of the "finer" hotels
Watch where you pitch a tent. If that area is nice and flat, no rocks, there's probably a reason.
Map of the Ilimaussaq Complex with the major collecting areas shown.
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