Trip Report by Corby Waste

Inuugujoq, kutta! Tikilluarit!

In July, 2004, seven "crazy Americans" went to Greenland to collect rare fluorescent minerals. I was one of them. We went to seven major locations in the world-famous Illimaussaq complex of minerals (see fluorescent Illimausaq specimens ). What was it like? Beautiful and wild! How did I get so lucky to go on this trip-of-a-lifetime? I turned 50 in February of 2004 and my big present was going on "Geo Adventure 2004", as it was called. After many months of planning it was time to fly East out of the Los Angeles area. I had to take three weeks off from my job as a computer graphic artist for the Mars Exploration Program at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. It was fun when I mentioned to the top Mars geologists that I was going rock collecting in Greenland - especially when it turned out that neither one of them had been there. They didn't know that I was a geological explorer, too.

I knew I might never get a chance to go there again so I had to make the most of it. It was a bit like going to the moon or Mars, that way - there would be little time to waste. Here are some of the pictures and stories from the trip - pictures of the fluorescent specimens are still to be added.

 

 

 

 

 

First stop: Iceland
 

  Our jet from Iceland to Narsarsuak, Greenland

 

 

Arriving in South Greenland

Satellite view of South Greenland in July + origin of the icebergs

 

 

 

Flight to Narsarsuak

 

 

 

 

 First sight of Greenland and icebergs

Icebergs off the east coast of Greenland

 

 

Icebergs below

   South-east coast of Greenland

 

 

 

 

Greenland flight: eastern fjords panorama

Fjord's end and beginning of Inland Ice

 

 

 

 Greenland flight: end of the Inland Ice - fjords ahead

 Fjords appeared as we descended towards Narsarsauk

 

 

 

Fjords of south Greenland ahead

Historic Narsarsuak airport on Tunuliarfik fjord

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finally made it to Greenland!

Our group at the Narsarsuak harbor

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Perfect first day in Greenland

 The view on Tunuliarfik fjord heading to Narsaq

 

Narsaq, home base for Geo Adventure 2004

 

 Closeup view from space of selected Geo Adventure 2004 locations

 

 
Home base for Geo Adventure 2004: Super-panoramic view of Narsaq, South Greenland, the gateway to the Illimaussaq complex

 

 Small boat harbor, Narsaq panorama

 

 

 Narsaq cemetery panorama

 

 

   Enjoying the niviarsiaq, Greenland's national flower

 

 

The Illimaussaq complex near Narsaq

 

 The road to Illimaussaq

 

 

"Geo Adventuring" locations

 

Taseq East

 

 
 On our first night in Greenland we ascended an area called Taseq East

 

 

 

 

 Large yellow sodalite specimen from Taseq East
 

 First night's mineral pile from Taseq East

 

Fourth of July Kvanefjeld tugtupite hike

(Kvanefjeld is pronounced "Crane-feld")

 

 

 The road to Kvanefjeld
 

The Kvanefeld trail to the tugtupite mines

 

 

 

  Perfect weather - thank the gods!
    Hiking up to the tugtupite mine near the top of Kvanefjeld

 

 
 

 

Hammering on the slopes of Kvanefjeld
 

Top of the Kvanefjeld trail with our Greenlandic friends 

 

 
 

 

 Kvanefjeld 4th of July tugtupite hike
 

Our main Kvanefjeld tugtupite site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kvanefjeld lake
 

Beautiful summer day at the tugtupite mines

 

 
 

 

 

 Swimming in the Kvanefjeld lake
 

Swimming in the Kvanefjeld lake  

 

 

 

 

Sun-drying after Fourth of July swim
 

  Fourth of July evening at the Kvanefjeld tugtupite mines

 

 

 

 

 

This is a vein of tugtupite
 

Lee McIlvaine holding a tugtupite specimen

 

 
   

  Kvanefjeld sunset
   

 

 

 

Sorensenite hike

 

 

 

Base camp and the "sorensenite boulders"

Sorensenite collecting trip to the boulders below Kvanefjeld

 

 

  Panorama from the sorensenite boulder area below Kvanefjeld

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Illimaussaq sunset seen from boulders

A garden of lichens and moss on one of the boulders

 

 

 

Rainy day in the Illimaussaq complex

 

 

 

 Icebergs in the Narsq Elv bay
 

 Drving into the Illimaussaq complex

 

 
 

 

The rocky gorge of the Narsaq Elv
 

Narsaq Elv in the complex

 

 

 

 

   Illimaussaq complex rainy day drive
 

Illimaussaq mountain road

 

 

 

Illimaussaq road rain hike
 

"What a great rock-hunting location!"

 

 

 

The Narsaq Elv on the Illimaussaq mountain road
 

Face rock collected during Illimaussaq rain hike 

 

 

 

 Unusual rock formation in the mist
 

Mysterious stone marker

 

 

Taseq West

 
 

 

 Icelandic ponies in our base camp below Taseq West
 

 Icelandic ponies in our base camp

 

 

 
 

 

 

Bridge over the Narsaq Elv near base camp
 

Crossing the rain-swollen Narsaq Elv

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

   Crossing the Narsaq Elv
 

 One rocky step at a time up to Taseq West

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hike from base camp to Taseq West in fog 
 

  Navigating to the Taseq West location by GPS 

 

 

 

 

Moss with raindrops 
 

 Stream moss with raindrops 

 

 

 

 
 

 

The collecting area at Taseq West
  Howie Green collecting at Taseq West

 

 

 

 

 

"Taseq soup" boulder, Taseq West - source of the "monster polylithionite"
 

 Panoramic view from Kvanefjeld to Taseq West 

 

 

 

 

 

 Taseq lake panorama, Taseq West   My Thor's hammer pendant on melting snow

 

 

 

 

    Exploring Taseq West
 

View of the fjords

 

 

  

 End of the hike: return from Taseq West 

 

 

 

 

Tunuliarfik fjord

 

 

 

 

Boat trip to a collecting site on a dark stormy day
 

  Tunuliarfik fjord panorama

 

 

 

 

 

Iceberg near our Tunuliarfik and Tugtup landing sites
 

 Tunuliarfik landing party - lost in the immensity of the complex

 

 
 

 

 
Trail marker discovered on Tunuliarfik fjord   Trail marker discovered on Tunuliarfik fjord

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

  Stream boulder
   Hiking above the rocky Tunuliarfik fjord shore to collecting site

 

 

 

 

  Tunuliarfik beach and collecting site panorama
 

Illimaussaq complex view opposite Tunuliarfik collecting site

 

 

 

 

 Lee collecting at Tunuliarfik 
 

My discovery of yellow-green sodalite

 

 

 

The big rock pile at Tunuliarfik
 

Collecting fun on the fjord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Flowers among the boulders
 

Illimaussaq complex, Tunuliarfik fjord (opposite Tugtup)

 

 

Tugtup Agtakorfia

I found the rare but non-fluorescent mineral "tundrite" at Tugtup - it's so rare that it has never been found before on a Geo Adventure until this year. Pictures of our long, cold night sleeping on the ground with no camping gear at Tugtup will be added - Ed.

 

 

Spending time in Narsaq

 

On tour of the Narsaq museum

White wooly flowers

 

 

Kangerlussaq fjord

 Super-panoramic view of the end of Kangerlussaq fjord

 

Kangerlussaq fjord campsite panorama

 

 

 

 

Edge of the Illimaussaq complex at end of Kangerlussaq fjord
 

Friable syenite boulders

 

 
       

 Enjoying the lost world of Kangri-la
       

 

End of the trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhausted from 10-days and nights of mining and transporting fluorescent minerals in cold Greenlandic weather

  Returning up Tunuliarfik fjord to Narsarsuak airport 

 

 

     

 

 

Journey's end: Return to Narsarsuak dock 
     

 Dramatic first minutes of the return flight to Iceland

 

 

THE END

 

Geo Adventure 2004 Stereo 3D
 
Please use only red and cyan (light blue) glasses, the red and dark blue glasses won't work.

 

 
 

 

 

Mysterious stone marker
   Bridge over Narsaq Elv near base camp

 

 

 

 
 "Taseq soup" boulder, Taseq West    Stream boulder, Tunuliarfik fjord 

 

 

  Friable syenite boulders, Kangerlussaq fjord

 

Stereo anaglyphs created by Corby Waste at the Illimaussaq complex during Geo Adventure 2004, in South Greenland. I shot them using a "normal" camera, not a stereo camera.

 

 

 

 

Links

 

Site of fluorescent mineral field collector Corby Waste

 

Our fellow Geo-Adventurer Herb Yeates has several sites:

Fluorescent Illimaussaq

Illimaussaq 2005

 

Geo Adventure 2004 was led by Mark Cole of MinerShop.com

 

 

*Inuugujoq, kutta! Tikilluarit! is Greenlandic for "Hello! Welcome!"

More about Greenland (in Greenlandic: Kalaallit Nunaat and in Danish: Grønland)

 

Greenland and Polar Scientific Research

 

 

Trip report author: Corby Waste

© Copyright 2006 by Corby Waste