It really is that simple, the picture above really spells out why I love to run and why off trail running in Greenland is an experience everybody trail (or road) runner should allow themselves at least once.
But I am getting a head of myself here, first run after my vacation in the Netherlands was actually a gorgeous 12K single trail on the gypsy trails just outside Copenhagen, arranged by a local runner and a great introduction to a very nice trail area hidden in plain sight 🙂
It was also the first test run of the Merrell trail glove 2, but I will get back to the shoe towards the end of this post.
The 18K off trail:
Pretty much the minute I arrived back home in Nuuk snow started poring down and that in the city it self. Why on this Saturday in mid September we woke up to a landscape covered in bright white snow, and with more falling from the thick dark clouds.
I checked the weather and it promised better conditions around noon, a quick text exchange with another local off trail runner sealed a deal about a run to the lowest of the local peaks at 12.
We set out on the first relatively flat and not too technical 5K to where the mountain really start to rise. conditions are normally easy off trail, but when everything is covered in anywhere from 10-20 cm of snow it is a whole different ballgame. you only see snow and have no clue whether it is pebbles, bigger rocks, a hole or a rock face that can be plain contoured or sloping below, Even better it is often a combination of it all.
From here we started uphill and the off trail grew from not too technical to 5K rather technical and quite strenuous uphill off trail.
Running straight lines were out of the question thus we laid a serpentine route creating a grade where we could keep a running like pace.
As we continued up the snow got deeper, but also more varied in depth as we ran into regular snow covered boulder fields. Requiring our full attention not to twist an ankle or a knee.
As we continued up, snow continued to get deeper in general, but also more varied in depth from one step to the next. one step might be knee deep, but the next only 10 cm or force you in to the hip. challenging and interest and we were both very grateful to reach the top and an energy gel break.
From here followed a VERY interesting 3K downhill run. plenty of slides and a great deal of care to be taken as we made our way down steep sections with loose rock covered in snow of unknown depth.
we were not moving our fastest here, but it was quite taxing on both breath and thighs.
From here followed the 5K of relatively easy technical off trail home and it was great to be able to remove the trail gaiters and untie the shoes.
Overall it had been around 2,5 hours (breaks included) of the kind of running that is precisely why I love Greenland, rough, desolate, remote and challenging like hell, but above all fun 🙂