Snowmobilers and their machines at the viewpoint over Sisimiut

Snowmobiling in Sisimiut

By Verified Expert

Winter transportation in Sisimiut is snowmobiles and dogsleds. Almost everyone who lives there owns one, the other, or both – so it was the perfect place to try out snowmobiling for myself for the first time.

I had never been snowmobiling.

Given my love of speed, I’d always been curious to try it, but there aren’t too many opportunities in Nuuk to do so unless you own your own snowmobile. So while I was studying Greenlandic at KTI’s Oqaatsinik Pikkorissaavik (language school) in Sisimiut in February, I took the opportunity to head out with Magnus on a tour with the Hotel Sisimiut Seamen’s Home.

Snowmobile rider rugged up near Sisimiut
Me – all rugged up and having a great time!

It was about -20 degrees Celsius outside. So, rugged up in my warmest gear and with my battery-heated socks on full-power, I donned a helmet and climbed up behind Magnus to ride pillion.

I was very happy for the gentle introduction to snowmobiling – letting someone else navigate the machine through the streets of Greenland’s second-largest town and having time to adjust to the very flat light that hid every dip, bump, and incline along our route. Not the easiest of conditions to get started in!

Snowmobile and dogsled route is difficult to see in the flat light near Sisimiut
On overcast days, the flat light makes it tricky to see the terrain. Skiers will be familiar with this problem.

Snowmobiling to the viewpoint over Sisimiut

Our initial destination was the viewpoint at the top of the ski field overlooking Sisimiut. It is a steep climb to get there (as one would expect from a ski resort) and the snowmobiles were absolutely roaring as we made our way to the top. What a view though!

Colourful houses of Sisimiut as seen from the ski center viewpoint
The town of Sisimiut from the viewpoint

From there, Magnus descended once more to the valley and suggested that I now have a go at driving the snowmobile for myself. I was all for it!

View from the drivers seat of a snowmobile near Sisimiut
View from the driver’s seat!

Taking control of the snowmobile

Both as a passenger and as a driver, I found that being on a snowmobile is quite similar to being on a motorcycle. You control the machine with throttles and levers and shift your weight when you want to change direction. Since I had some experience with riding a motorcycle, it didn’t take long for me to get the hang of it as we barrelled along the well-defined snowmobile/dogsled route that basically followed the Arctic Circle Trail that I had hiked just over a year before.

Person near one of the stone cairns that mark the Arctic Circle Trail route near Sisimiut
Magnus checking out one of the stone cairns that indicate the Arctic Circle Trail route

Everything was familiar from that previous exploration of this area, but absolutely and totally different at the same time. And it was beyond beautiful!

View of the frozen Kangerlusarsuk Tulleq Fjord from the pass to sisimiut
View down to the frozen Kangerlusarsuk Fjord from the pass.
This is what it looks like during Summer from a slightly different vantage point

Snowmobiling on Kangerlusarsuk Tulleq

We powered off the pass that forms the last obstacle on the Arctic Circle Trail if you hike it from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut, and down towards the frozen Kangerlusarsuk Tulleq fjord. There were a few challenging parts for a snowmobiling newbie, and I must admit that the snow bridge at the edge of the fjord made me a bit nervous, though didn’t seem to give Magnus pause.

Snow bridge at the edge of the frozen Kangerlusarsuk Tulleq fjord near Sisimiut
Hmmm…. Magnus is already out on the fjord

Once on the frozen fjord – I just opened up the throttle and let it fly! Sooooooo much fun!

Snowmobile tracks across the frozen Kangerlusarsuk Tulleq fjord near Sisimiut
Frozen waterways are very, very smooth

We stopped about half way across and broke out the hot chocolate and sandwiches for a relatively short, but welcome picnic in the middle of the ice.

People having a Picnic lunch in the middle of the frozen Kangerlusarsuk Tulleq fjord near sisimiut on a snowmobile excursion
Picnic on the frozen fjord

I could see the Kangerlusarsuk Tulleq Nord hut (one of our favourites) that my hiking buddy and I had stayed in when we hiked the Arctic Circle Trail, and it was a surreal experience standing in the middle of what I knew to be a massive waterway.

The final two huts on the Arctic Circle Trail near Sisimiut in winter
Can you spot the huts? There is one down near the edge of the fjord and another up on the hill to the right

Return to Sisimiut

The only problem with -20 degrees Celsius is that you cool down very fast when you stop moving – even with plenty of protective clothing. So once we’d finished our picnic lunch, we turned around and made our way back to Sisimiut via the same route.

Magnus was having far too much fun hooning around the snowy landscape, and I was envious that I didn’t yet have the skill or confidence to do the same.

Next time!

Snowmobiler looking down the route back to Sisimiut past nasaasaaq mountain
This spot had one of my favourite views for the entire Arctic Circle Trail. It looks very different in Winter, but still has an amazing view of Nasaasaaq mountain

Plan your trip to Sisimiut

Snowmobiling is just one of several winter activities you can enjoy in the renowned and extensive back-country of Sisimiut. Greenland’s second-largest town is a paradise for outdoor lovers no matter the season.

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