Hike to Tasiusaq

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7598 August 19, 2018

Image: View of Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 70 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

When we finished our tour of Brattahlid in Qassiarsuk, Greenland, we had a new destination 7km away–Tasiasuq!  We had our overnight packs on our backs (including camera gear in my case) and began our hike into the mountains to cross over into the next fjord, Sermilik fjord.

Tasiusaq map

Dark clouds filled the skies, but the rain came and went in drizzles.  We knew that the weather changed quickly on this island so we were always prepared with rain gear.  The scenery was spectacular as we hiked a narrow path over small hills and through valleys, catching views of various streams, sheep and lakes.

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7472 August 19, 2018

Image: Hike across the mountains to Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

As we climbed higher into the mountains, we enjoyed the fog that engulfed us.  It created such a moody atmosphere for photography, although I had to keep wiping down my lens.

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7500 August 19, 2018

Image: Hike across the mountains to Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 66 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

We made it to the top of one peak and got a view of a beautiful valley with its lake.  Off in the distance, we could see a stack of rocks (on the right side of the image) that would soon be our snack break location.

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7532 August 19, 2018

Image: Hike across the mountains to Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 44 mm, f/13, 1/160 sec, ISO 640, hand-held.

When we got to that marker, we had a view of another lake that had curves that followed the gentle slopes of the land in all different directions.  With the fog hovering over the lake and obscuring the mountain tops, it was a photographer’s dream!

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7525 August 19, 2018

Image: Hike across the mountains to Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 44 mm, f/13, 1/160 sec, ISO 640, hand-held.

I took advantage of the break to take as many photos as possible of the different angles and shapes of the perimeter of the lake.

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7516 August 19, 2018

Image: Hike across the mountains to Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 48 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

We then headed down the slope and began hiking towards more mountains, dutifully following our guide since we were no longer on a trail.  We trusted her fully and enjoyed the scenery around us as we made our way over several more low lying mountains.  We came to a small pond that had beautiful grasses growing in it.  I could have played here for awhile, but I had to keep reminding myself that this was not a photography trip.  🙂

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7541 August 19, 2018

Image: Hike across the mountains to Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 62 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

We crested the final peak and were astounded by the beauty that lay before us.  Off in the distance was a little yellow house–our destination.

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7568 August 19, 2018

Image: Iceberg Bay,  Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 40 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

Our group began descending into the valley enjoying the view of Iceberg Bay off in the distance to the right.  To our excitement, we learned that this bay was our kayaking destination later that day.

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7583 August 19, 2018

Image: Hike across the mountains to Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 40 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

As we got closer to the water, we were amazed at the beautiful wildflowers spreading out throughout the land.

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7667 August 19, 2018

Image: Hike across the mountains to Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 31 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

We arrived in Tasiusaq and were told to stay on the roads and be respectful of the grass and dogs.  The dogs in this village played an important role as working dogs, and understandably, the farmers did not want them disturbed.  There were 3 sheep farms in this area, the house of one of the farmers shown below.

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7678 August 19, 2018

Image: Farmer’s home in Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 42 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

As we made our way to our accommodations for the night,  I stopped to take a few shots of one of the sheep farms since they played such a prominent role in both this community and Qassiarsuk.

Qassiusak to Tasiusaq hike 7674 August 19, 2018

Image: Sheep farm in Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 48 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

It was a beautiful hike with typical Greenlandic weather that allowed for nice daytime photography.  With the overcast, and at times, dark skies, my ISO was higher and ranged between 640 and 1000 to accommodate a shutter speed between 1/160 and 1/200.  I wanted an aperture around f/11-f/16 depending how far away I was from my subject and if there were foreground elements, necessitating a greater depth of field.   After a nice lunch in our home (with no electricity!), we rested up a bit before our next adventure…kayaking in Iceberg Bay!

Author: Dr. Amy Novotny

Amy Novotny is a physical therapist, marathon/ultra runner and nature photographer. She treats patients for a variety of conditions but specializes in chronic pain and calming an overactive nervous system using special diaphragmatic breathing. She has used this technique to help her qualify and run in four Boston marathons! She enjoys the outdoors and can often be found running and hiking on trails in throughout Arizona. She attempts to capture the beauty of nature with her photography both locally in Arizona and also throughout the United States. She is becoming more interested in wildlife photography and attempting to capture the emotion of animal interactions. In her spare time, Amy volunteers as a photo guide for the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes nonprofit and shares her joy of nature with others. Please feel free to contact her regarding her photography, physical therapy or running.

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