Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Siorapaluk, the northermost community in the planet

Siorapaluk is an inuit settlement located in northern Greenland, on the west coast by Robertson Fiord, only 1362 km from the North Pole.

Qaanaaq, the area's main village, is less than 100 km to the south.

Siorapaluk is also the world's northernmost inhabited settlement (*)

Coordinates:  77° 47′ N, 70° 38′ W
Population:  ~ 70.

Siorapaluk reflects on the calm sea waters that bath its sandy beach

Siorapaluk means "little Sands", after the small sandy beach in front of the village. 

 Sand and ice

The settlement is as far as you can go north in Greenland and still have electricity, toilets and a shop. And TV, and internet.
Somehow, the last outpost of civilization...

Houses are generally well maintained and painted red, with a few in yellow or blue.

 Typical village house

 The local shop and post office

The church at Siorapaluk, with the side tower bell.

 The new school

View from school downwards to the sea in a sunny day

Many of the inhabitants are direct descendants of the last migration of Inuit from Canada in the past century. The main source for living comes from nature - there is good hunting and fishng in the area: birds, foxes and hares, seals and walruses.

The sledding craft is a daily job in this part of the world.

Trips by dog sled out into Robertson Fiord are a small extra income from summer tourists.

Returning home

Average temperature varies from the - 20ºC in winter to a few degrees above zero in summer (with records of -60, + 18ºC). High summer days have 24h daylight, but even that is usually not enough to get warm.

In recent years, though, the climate is less regular, there has been changes in ice thickness and higher temperatures.

Tall sandstone mountains surround the village, in tones of red and purple, ending at the sea in a narrow sand track. Farther, a glacier is visible in the bottom of the small Robertson fiord.

Long shadows as the only means of transport - dog sled - slides to the low sun:

(*) as a native community