Satellite photo of target area: Northern tip of Greenland , Kaffeklubben Island, and the Arctic Ice Shelf

Aerial photo looking north at the Greenland ice cap, 1.5 mi. thick, 250,000 years old

(click to enlarge)


The Arctic Thule
Expedition target area





Arctic Thule expedition Team members

Our landing site in Independence Fjord



The flight from Iceland
to Station Nord in Greenland






Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord, in the southern end of Greenland's National Park

Melting sea ice viewed from the plane while flying along Greenland's Northeastern coast



Flying over Northern Greenland
and Kaiser Franz Joseph fjord






Coming in for a landing on the tundra at Bliss Bay, on Greenland's north coast

Massive "scorpion" curved iceberg near "Suicide Cliff" the world's highest sea cliff (6,300 ft.)



Scenic vistas
in Northern Greenland







An expedition member comes across running bear tracks

Ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea) near Station Nord. It is the only species in its genus



Northern Greenland
wildlife encounters






Arctic Sea ice pack, temporary island floes for Polar Bears & skinny dippers

Greenland's Scoresby Sund, the world's largest and longest fjord system



Nature’s pristine
Arctic beauty






The world's largest fjord system is in Greenland's National Park

"Fish-eye" lens photo South of Kaffeklubben, melt-water pools, Cryoconite deposits on bottom



Aerial Views of Northern







The cockpit of our Twin Otter aircraft flown by captain Johanns Skirnisonn

Landing on the tundra at Bliss Bay base Camp



En route to Bliss Bay,
arriving at base camp







Pearyland horizon near Bliss Bay, Kaffeklubben can be seen off the coast

Gunnbjørn Fjeld, Greenland's highest peak (3700 m / 12,120 ft)



Greenland terrain
and it’s highest mountain







One of our Arctic Thule expedition base camp tents at Bliss Bay

Two Polar bear cubs riding on their mother while she swims a fjord near Mugbukten




Arctic Thule expedition members
encamped at Bliss Bay





A Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) at Bliss Bay, a species rarely photographed.

Snow hare, Cape Morris Jesup. Can run on it's hind feet like a Kangaroo.



Other residents
of Northern Greenland






Greenland's icebergs and cliffs in Isfjorden while traveling across an ice fjord by zodiac

A French expedition in the Southern end of Greenland national park



In the fjords of
Greenland National Park







Musk ox skull in Badland Valley: a traveler from another time

Hiking in the Arctic mist: expedition team trekking toward Cape Morris Jesup



The journey toward
Cape Morris Jesup






One of two species of Arctic Butterflies, Bliss Bay. Seen only on warm days in Summer

Mosquito Hawks in the Arctic, it is said they have anti-freeze in their bodies


Greenland’s unique landscape
rare species








Looking West from Cape Morris Jessup, Mara Mountain (Greenland's Northernmost peak) in background

Arctic Thule expedition member Mara Boland at Peary’s cairn, Cape Morris Jesup, holding bottle left in 1921 by Lauge Koch



Cape Morris Jesup
in Peary Land







Polar bear with cubs near Mugbukten in Greenland's national park

A young Arctic fox stays close to it's mother's den



Day to day life
of Arctic residents






Ancient lifeboat found 3 miles inland, perhaps from whaling boat or vessel shipwrecked off Greenland long ago

Original note from the first visit to Kaffeklubben in 1960, signed by crew members of US helicopter & scientists




Relics of era’s
long past






Northernmost archaeological site in the world, possibly 1,000-4,000 yrs. old

Close up of archaeological site, only 400 mi. from the North Pole - note the rock formation in a circle



Northernmost archaeological
site in the world






Attastupan, in Greenland National park... the world's tallest sea cliff (6,300 ft.)

Crossing one of Greenland's fjords in a Zodiac inflatable boat



Geological beauty of
Greenland’s mountains







Red Lichen near Cape Morris Jesup, one of Earth's oldest organisms

Arctic Poppies, thriving in Greenland's brief Arctic Summer



Nature’s delicate beauty
in Northern Greenland






Flowers adorn a Musk Ox skull with the northern Greenland coast in the background

Mara Boland holding an ancient Narwhal tooth found on the north coast of Greenland



On the 12 mile overland trek
to Northern edge of Greenland







Polar Bear on ice floe near Daneborg

Musk Ox crossing an Arctic snowdrift



Large mammalian wildlife
in Northern Greenland






At the summit of Mara Mountain, 1 of 3 ancient stone pillars

One of 3 stone columns at the ridgetop of Mara Mountain



3 ancient stone monoliths
on the peak of the world’s
Northernmost mountain





Golden rock, snowfield, and Benedict mountains South of Amalortuk Lake

A herd of Musk Oxen, west of Cape Morris Jesup, in protective formation



The splendor of
Arctic summer






Northenmost nest made by the Sanderling bird at Cape Morris Jesup

Purple Sassofraxe flowers near Bliss Bay



Nature’s contrasts
in the arctic







Galen Rowell studying an "Arctic Oasis" - the ancient remains from the carcass of a musk ox

Dr. Peter Skafte at Midnight, sitting on an ancient log, perhaps from the last Arctic ice-free period



Overland encounters on the
trek to the North coast







Musk Ox skeleton turns into an oasis of flowers and grass

Caribou antler (now extinct since 1901) partially covered by moss and lichen



Survival of the fittest
in Northern Greenland







Arctic Thule expedition Team setting out for Kaffeklubben Island

Navigating the ice shelf and melt pools to reach the islands, the mainland far in the background



Trekking over the sea ice
toward Kaffeklubben Island






Snow hares near Cape Morris Jesup

Arctic fox in Summer (they turn white in Winter)



Arctic Wildlife
at the top of the world






Gaylen Rowell & Dr. Peter Skafte at summit of Mara Mountain

"Top of the World" Expedition team members on Kaffeklubben Island



At Southern end of
Kaffeklubben Island







Expedition team member Mara Bowland letting off steam

Trekking across snow-melt pools toward Ultima Thule



Continuing on to
the Arctic Thule region







Kaffeklubben Island detail from 2005 satellite photo composite

Northern tip of Kaffeklubben Island photographed from the air



Views of Kaffeklubben Island
from airplane & satellite







The 1993 search for a new Northernmost Island under the sea ice and water

A nudist spotted on one of the ice floes... obviously quite mad but we took him with us



Searching for Ultima Thule,
North of
Kaffeklubben Island






Odaq Island from the air, lower left, Northern coast of Greenland in the background

Odaq Island, on the day it was discovered in 1978



Odaq Island, 1.3 km
North of Kaffeklubben







Expedition team at Ultima Thule Island in 2003

Dr. Peter Skafte celebrates on a "new" island in 1996, before it emerged from a melt water pool



Reaching the legendary
Ultima Thule area






Flying over Ultima Thule Island as photographed and discovered by Dr. Skafte in 1998

Looking back toward the Northern coast of Greenland from the ice melt pools



Ultima Thule Island







Arriving at Ultima Thule Island in 2003, looking south toward the coast of Greenland

Celebrating at "Top of the World Island" in 1996



Two discoveries:
Ultima Thule
and Top of the World Island







"Stairway to heaven" - Mara Boland on Mara Mountain, looking up toward the summit

Dr. Peter Skafte holding his walking spear, an indispensable safety accessory



The ultimate quest…
for Ultima Thule






NASA satellite photo of Greenland's north coast showing Independence Fjord & Frederic P Hyde fjord


Amalortak Lake, location of Northernmost archaeological site



Arctic Thule
Land of Legends







photo credits: Roger Brown, Galen Rowell, Peter Skafte

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