Welcome

This website is devoted to documenting the Arctic Thule expedition's search for Earth's Northernmost Point of land. To learn more click the links at top of the page.

Land of Legends

For millenia the location of "Thule" has stirred the imagination of explorers, intellectuals and poets.

Ongoing Treks

Recognized as leaders in ongoing Arctic exploration... our expedition members are deemed pioneers in this little known yet important corner at the top of our planet.

Participants

Scientists, Adventurers... if you're an avid mountaineer or trekker, and can take care of yourself in the wilderness, consider joining us on our next expedition. Group size is nine due to aircraft weight limits.

Photos

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

EXPEDITION PHOTOGRAPHS
(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
Greenland

 

 

 

 

 

 

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
and
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

 

 

Exploring
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
Island
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