Grasping the light via cross-country skiing!

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One has to make the most of the limited light during the darkness of Winter. I tried cross-country skiing!

The sun would start its descent even before I had finished eating lunch. During the darkest days, I think it only got bright around 10.30am. That’s a typical Nuuk day in the month of December. 

I wasn’t hit by the darkness, but I felt it. Unlike the long-term residents of Greenland, who didn’t seem affected by it at all. Instead they used the opportunity to make the office cosy by lighting candles like this (below). It was beautiful…

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The limited hours of daylight meant that we had to make the most of the sunny hours. It’s a typical scenario for so many living in the North.  When I visited him in Helsinki, my Finnish friend Antti and others gave me the impression that the Finns were dreading winter. They were literally SCARED of the impending coldness and darkness. Antti told me that he would deal with the lack of light by going out for a run everyday. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t see the sun for months. A great idea I thought it was, and so brought the concept back with me to Nuuk.

I wouldn’t run, but I would walk. Then our friends lent us their skis, so we had the chance to try cross-country!

There was a point a few years ago I had no idea what cross-country skiing was. I only thought downhill-skiing existed. So for those who don’t know what it is – you are skiing across land, instead of down mountains.

The cross-country ski trail passes right in front of the Ilimmarfik building of the University of Greenland. During December, I tried to start my work day earlier so that I could ski before it turned dark again. A good time to go was about 2.30pm, so I could catch a good hour of sunlight.

This is the only university in Greenland below.

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I can’t say I was any good at skiing. I felt like I was walking more often than not, although just a bit faster. When we went down, I had to go really slow because I was afraid of falling…My lovely partner-in-crime was a patient companion, though, so I was grateful for that.

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It was just beautiful being out in the fresh air and sun.

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No one can complain about the view! That photo below is of the famous Sermitsiaq mountain. It’s the same mountain I flew around that one time I went on a helicopter.

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It’s hard to imagine that it was only a month ago it was so dark. These days, it’s rapidly getting brighter again. So much so that now when I finish work THERE IS LIGHT until about 6pm!!!! It really lifts my spirits knowing this! Bring on the light!

Photos: J. Løvschall-Wedel.

10 thoughts on “Grasping the light via cross-country skiing!

  1. That’s all really beautiful. I’ve been complaining how dark it was this Winter, but we always had at least ten hours of sunlight, so I guess I’m just being fussy 🙂 Have you tried snow shoeing? I thought it was a lot of fun, you may like it. I hated downhill skiing when I tried it, but the supply room was out of poles, so maybe it was just hard skiing without poles? But I also dislike heights. Maybe I will give cross country skiing a try sometime!

  2. I love cross-country skiing, so it`s great do read that you gave it a try 🙂 it`s always good to get out and move around when there is some sunlight. Also here, days are getting longer, making it easier to spend time outside…

  3. Your story and your pictures are great. The light means so much to us human beings. It is a great idea to have some exercise outdoor. The skiing looks like a lot of fun 🙂
    All the best,
    Hanna

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