Nevertheless, after some time restlessness took its toll and -at least- I wanted to get out to have look at the closer surroundings and perhaps get feeling for the distance up to the glacier mouth even if the weather has not improved at all.
Having never been on a glacier before, I wanted to get idea about what I am here for anyway and whether my intention to cross the island was even remotely feasible. I had no idea, what I have to expect close to the glacier and on top of it. The idea, the fear things might not work out as planned, as imagined, and as being prepared for caused some anxiety, some nervousness in me.
I left my tent without taking anything with me apart from the clothes I wore. Later I learnt a lesson that this was not to clever. It was not quite raining rather a constant wet spray was coming down. Visibility was limited to perhaps some 100 meters. My intention to hike up the mounting following the river for some time. Progress was first quite slow but the terrain improved. However, after hiking for about one hour the glacier mouth was still not to be seen. I decided to give it another half an hour before turning back to the camp site and in fact almost prior to turning back I could see ice. I have reached the glacier mouth! This was the moment when “I made contact”.
The situation, the reality turned out friendly to me. The ice was solid, the glacier was open, that there was no sign that snow could cover potentially dangerous cracks anywhere close to here. Being somewhere between 200 and 300 meters higher than the campsite with temperature still clearly above melting point snow was not really to be expected at this level of altitude.
With things turning out almost better than I could have expected I turned back to the campsite. I had a look at my wristwatch telling me that the ascent took me about 1.5 hours hiking now downhill I expected the hike to take about 1 hour 15 minutes. I followed the river downwards and put cairns some every 100 meters for easier “navigation” when returning.
I passed places that I recognized from my ascent, I moved on, and after 1 hour I started to look out for the campsite. Not seeing it I moved on but was puzzled that after 1 hour 30 minutes I saw very well the delta of the river close Gamle Qullissat. I realized that I must have passed the campsite without seeing when going river downwards along the riverbanks.
“Don’t panic”. Visibility was still bad. It was foggy. I rested. No navigational aids, no GPS, nothing else than the visual memory of the campsite place, and the information of how long it took up to the glacier and much time I spent going down from the glacier. I estimated that I am about a 10-15 minutes walk south of the campsite which was some 100 meters distant from the river what I remembered. The latter also explained why I was able to pass the campsite without noticing it.
I turned and went back uphill keeping a distance of 100 to 200 meters to the river making sure not to miss anything within that corridor. After about 15 minutes I reached the campsite. I learnt my lesson. I sat down, I laid down, I rested, I prepared food, and I packed my things.