Grade of Climbing
One of the many beauties of skiing, climbing and trekking in Greenland is that most areas and mountain ranges offer the flexibility of a range of peaks and routes of varying degrees of difficulty, from easy walkable snow ascents to long technical alpine routes up to 2000m, from easy ski touring to steep couloir skiing. None of our expeditions set out to climb or ski just a single mountain which can be graded accordingly. Instead we attempt several peaks on each expedition, including many first ascents and new routes/descents. Often we are climbing in mountain ranges that have never been visited, skied or climbed in before. It is therefore impossible to give each expedition a grade as such, although most alpine peaks and routes attempted will be in alpine range F to AD. Instead, upon viewing the relevant web pages you will find a description of the nature and potential of each expedition area and a brief outline of the disciplines that each area ought to be ideal for. This information can be found in the drop down menu on our home page by selecting and clicking on area or mountain range. On each individual tour description you will also find details of the Activities & Skills that will be involved in that expedition.
Experience Required By Clients
Our expeditions are suitable for a variety of outdoor enthusiasts, including climbers, skiers, mountaineers, ski-mountaineers,ski-tourers and trekkers. Snow based expeditions (except dog sledding) are mostly suitable to people with a good understanding and experience of Scottish winter and/or alpine or nordic conditions. Previous winter mountaineering and winter camping experience is preferable, as well as proficient use of ice axe and crampons and basic ropework skills and belaying techniques. Clients on climbing and mountaineering trips should be confident on Scottish grade 1 snow slopes or equivalent. All participants must be of good Winter hill walking fitness and capable of long winter days. Some of our expeditions will have opportunities for making ascents of peaks using walking routes only. Please inquire for details of which trips offer the best chance of such peaks each season.
Previous Nordic ski-touring or ski-mountaineering experience is helpful on certain mountaineering expeditions, but not essential, since many of the glaciers that we travel over are easy angled and largely crevasse free. Clients joining an expedition with a greater element of ski-mountaineering will need to be more suitably experienced. For example this may include past experience of extended tours in Scotland, the Alps, the States, Canada or Norway.
An understanding of crevasse awareness, crevasse rescue and self rescue are important and a technical training weekend is normally offered to our clients each year. Training courses are available from many organisations, including ourselves and our guides and instructors, for the purpose of brushing up on such skills. Participants are required to complete a detailed application form outlining their experience. Clients considered to possess only the very minimum experience may be asked to seek further appropriate training with a qualified Mountaineering Instructor or Mountain Guide prior to joining a Tangent expedition.
Individuals, couples and climbing partners are welcome to book on any of the expeditions outlined in our current season’s expedition program.
Small groups of three or four may also book on these expeditions with group discounts available on certain expeditions.
During the Autumn prior to the expedition season, which normally runs from April to August, we only advertise approximate dates and durations for the expeditions. This is so that we can fine tune the exact dates and total duration of each expedition to the preferences of the group. This also allows for those who wish to make use of extended stopover time in Iceland to do so.
"Guided" Expeditions - a statement of clarification
All Tangent expeditions are led by experienced alpine climbers, usually with MIA, MIC or IFMGA Mountain Guide qualifications or with vast direct experience of alpine climbing in Greenland and usually a minimum professional qualification of Winter Mountain Leader. In this respect we offer "guided" trips to Greenland but where the emphasis is on providing an expedition 'leader' for the group as a whole. This should not be confused with the provision of services provided by an IFMGA qualified alpine "Mountain Guide" where a specific contract has been agreed to provide personal or individual mountain guiding services. We do also offer such expeditions but we ask clients to refer to the Leadership Style information included with each tour description. This will link to further and more detailed information regarding the style of leadership for that particular expedition. The personal services of a qualified IFMGA Mountain Guide are not an inherent part of any contract between the client and Tangent Expeditions Limited, unless specifically stated in the tour description, on your booking contract, and on your invoice.
Some of our expeditions visit mountain ranges where smaller climbing subgroups and pairs may be climbing on different peaks at the same time or on different routes on the same mountain. In this respect it is therefore sometimes not possible for a single leader to provide such a personal guiding service. It is therefore necessary that all clients visiting these remote mountain ranges of Arctic Greenland who book on our "Professionally Led" or "Professionally Consulted" expeditions should be suitably confident and experienced enough to operate independently in an alpine environment, as and when necessary, under the general leadership of a Tangent leader. In these circumstances our expeditions are not 'guided', as that can create an unnecessary expectation, but instead clients are part of an expedition team and each individual plays their own important role.
Leadership / Guiding Protocol
For full details of our Leadership & Guiding Protocol please select the appropriate link in the Level of Difficulty Sub-menu.
Training and Experience
Our team of experienced and professional mountaineers can offer training and advice on any aspect of mountaineering, ski-mountaineering and ski-touring in Greenland. We do not offer open courses to individuals but we can run private courses for any number of two or more clients. These courses are open to all private groups including Tangent expedition clients wishing to brush up on their skills prior to an expedition.