Adam Kjeldsen descends chalky snow in the backcountry above the Nuuk Fjord.

Adventure

GREENLAND

SHAPED BY LAND: GREENLAND GROWS SKIING AT HOME

Fresh off six weeks of heli-guiding around West Greenland, Adam Kjeldsen is sorting gear on the couch in his parent’s house on a late spring evening in Nuuk, Greenland. At 64 degrees north latitude, the sun won’t set until 10:15 p.m., and a deep orange glow streams through the westward windows overlooking the Nuuk Fjord. It’s taken me three days to travel here from Alaska, but my exhaustion doesn’t register as Kjeldsen describes skiing across the sea ice under pink skies as a child. Affable and charismatic, it’s easy to think of him as an old friend despite a winter’s worth of long-dis- tance correspondence. Having noticed a Greenlandic representation gap in ski media, I reached out to Kjeldsen to learn about his roots and community. He, in turn, invited me to come over and see it for myself.

Most ski tourism in Greenland focuses on terrain and largely misses the culture that makes the country so unique. For many, the allures of skiing in remote locales are the uncrowded backcountry, the continuous ski lines from summit to fjord, and the novelty of skiing amongst glaciers from a sailboat. But athletes and tourists who travel to Greenland and forego time in local communities can easily, and unknowingly, miss the depth of the country’s beauty…

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