Photographer Tiago Higgs takes us through all his amazing experiences of Greenland and shares some of his most beautiful captures
Born and raised in the heat of Portugal, I always remember asking my mother to take me to see snow and that dream only came true on my early twenties.I knew from that moment that cold, ice, snow, and being surrounded by white and blue is something I really enjoy. My first great experience started in Iceland but I knew Greenland was where I wanted to be next. I wanted colder, wilder and more remote so the largest island on the planet was the place to visit.
I landed in Kangerlussuaq with -17, every mountain was white and every lake was frozen so I knew Greenland was about to deliver. Headed straight to the ice cap which is nothing but a smooth wavy desert but white and as you stick your finger on the snow you reach the transparent ice underneath, it overwhelms you with it’s simplicity.
You don’t see many people in Kangerlussuaq mainly because there’s only 500 people living in there and it’s used mostly for connection flights.
When you wake up early and walk just one or two miles out you can find very clear footprints of what wildlife has been doing. You find rabbit tracks being chased by Arctic foxes, deer tracks and if you get further out even muskox which is this amazing buffalo looking animal that is very appreciated as a food source.
The chance to experience dog sledding was also something I always wanted to do. Greenland Sled Dogs are very wild, they are more Wolf than dog, you don’t pet them because they can be very aggressive and because their owners want them to keep the wild competitive spirit which needs to be preserved in this environment.
At night I was rewarded with the most powerful Northern Lights I have ever seen. The bright green and the purple trail behind was outstanding. Locals said the next day, that quality of Northern Lights was actually not usual.
Then I visited Ilulissat which has 4000 people living in it. You can see icebergs floating past the city’s coast line from almost any part of the city which is stunning.
Visiting Oqaatsut settlement is highly recommended, you have to get there by boat and only 30 people currently live there. There is no hospital, just a house full of medicine that locals use as they need. Also people don’t have showers at home, instead there is one shared building for this, that you have to walk to. The school which is in the small church has only has 4 students which are taught Greenlandic, Danish and English. Everything is walking distance…back to basics in Oqaatsut.
But the pinnacle of this trip personally was the 3h hike to the Jakobshavn Glacier. If you do this in winter, it’s wild, it’s windy, snow is very deep but it’s an absolute must do adventure. It’s well worth it and nature pays you back with an unique view over a landscape that we rarely get to live with, gigantic blocks of ice shaped in all sorts of ways that make a loud thundery sound whenever they brake apart.