“I got to a point, above a cliff band, where I realised there was no way out. I was on the side of that mountain, in a gully, completely on my own with a bike and a heavy pack. I was scared out of my mind. I thought about my family."
"The lines on Ande’s face darken to his intricate task of carving reindeer bone into Tupilaks, the totems of his Inuit ancestors. The quiet air of this craftsman is later shattered by a story I’m told by Matt Spenceley – mountain guide and adopted son of the East Greenland village of Kulusuk. ‘When he was younger Ande was sailing south, alone,’ Matt tells me, ‘when his boat sank. The water was 2˚C, but he swam 200m in full clothing to an iceberg, and just sat on it until another boat came by.’ I suddenly feel ill-equipped to climb and ski in this wild place. Even the artisans are hard as nails."
"Sometimes I return from a journey and struggle to marry the vitality of the experience with the ephemeral memories that drift through my mind. I ghosted through Greenland as though I were watching it on TV; my memories are abstract more than visceral. It’s the lack of expectation that does this, the absence of a frame of reference."