Lover of nature, born in Germany.
The blogposts show some aspects of my life in Ittoqqortoormiit, East Greenland,
where I´ve lived permenantly from 2006 to 2022, so far.
I´ve also posted a diary of a long hike through Sweden.
From October 2022 to September 2023 I`m not going to be in Ittoqqortoormiit.
I am therefore no longer able to offer guided tours in the area. I might continue spinning
and selling some muskox-wool products or / and knitted items of other materials, during my travels.
Follow me on Instagram if you are are curious about what come`s next.
I don`t really know, yet.
The words and pictures below are now “history”. I wrote them some time after I started this blog.
My life changed dramatically when Ingkasi (Johan Aaqqii), my husband, suddenly and unexpectetly died in February 2020. He passed away on a solo hunting trip, out on the land (at Hurry Inlet) that we both loved so much.
I am still trying to pick up the pieces of – me. Of what remains. Everything has changed.
Ittoqqortoormiit, February 2021
My name is Ruth Aaqqii, and I am the owner of “Outside Ittoqqortoormiit & Arctic Wool East Greenland”, a tiny business located in the small community of Ittoqqortoormiit (on most maps spelled “Illoqqortoormiut”, and earlier called “Scoresbysund”, the big red spot on the map below ) in Northeast Greenland.
I offer guided nature tours and sell arctic wool and knitwear.
On this site, I share my passion for arctic living, spending time outside, hunting, hand spinning arctic wool and other topics related to the Arctic in general and Greenland in particular!
Often, my stories include experiences I share with my husband, Johan Aaqqii (also called Ingkasi), who is a Greenlandic hunter.
We both love to be out in nature and enjoy working together in creating guided tours for individuals seeking unique and authentic arctic experiences.
You can read more about our background underneath the following pictures!
Ingkasi was born and raised in Ittoqqortoormiit, and has been living in this community for most of his life. He is a full-time hunter, following in the fotsteps of his father and grandfather. Earlier in life he worked at the office of the local trading company for many years.
In 2001 he gave up that job in order to pursue his dream of becoming a hunter. Ingkasi hunts by dogsled in winter and by boat in summertime. Throughout the year he spends many days and weeks out on the land, depending on where the animals he hunts can be found. He is the owner of 13 Greenlandic dogs.
I, Ruth, grew up in Germany, and went to school to become an office-worker. Shortly thereafter I moved to Norway, decided to pursue my dream of a life close to nature and later studied Outdoor Education and Circumpolar Studies. During my years in Norway I began to fall in love with the Arctic.
In 2006 I moved to Ittoqqortoormiit and have been living here ever since. I enjoy dog-sledding with my 8 Greenlandic dogs, backcountry skiing, hiking and hand spinning Greenlandic wool on long winter nights. I also work as an organist at the Lutheran State Church in Ittoqqortoormiit.
Questions, comments? Let me know!
Thanks for reading!
Dear Ruth and Ingase, thank you for the beautiful site and photos! Merry Xmas and happy New Year! Arne Øland (former teacher and almost neighbor two years ago, when my two sons and I used the house of Elin)
“neighbour” 🙂 thanks for your comment, – good to hear from you!
We hope you´ve had a nice Christmas!
Juuddimi pidduaritsi og Godt Nytår!
Greetings, Ingkasi and Ruth
Just wanted to tell you that your blog is amazing and unique in its own way. I look forward to reading more and learning about your culture. Greetings from Iceland and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thank you! – I love Iceland 🙂 I`ve been flying via Reykjavik on my way to Eastgreenland many times. So I`ll have a look at your blog as well. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thank you! And to you too!
I love your site! Beautiful photos and excellent story. Thank you for sharing it through your blog. I’m so happy to know someone in East Greenland. Wow, it’s so fun to be in contact with people all over the world through blogging. Keep up the great work!
Thanks for reading and reblogging! I am looking forward to learn more about Korea 🙂 on your blog. I`ve known, I think, two people from South-Korea at some point in my life, when staying at a L´Abri Fellowship. But know, living in a isolated place in the Arctic, contact to people from other countries has to happen online! I´m glad that`s possible 🙂
Thank you for your reply. It’s great to be in connect with you in Greenland. I’m also happy to be able to know you across the miles. It’s great to be touch. Look forward to keeping in touch.:)
My name is Idrissia, I´m French (born in Morocco) but I live and work in Greenland too (I´m in West Greenland, Nuuk).
Nice blog and amazing pictures 🙂 I will follow your adventures with great pleasure. Keep up the good work.
Greetings from Nuuk
Good to hear from you! We have some friends in Nuuk, and I hope we´ll be able to visit there again some time… It´s amazing how people from different countries end up in Greenland 🙂
Hi! I just stumbled here and must say that you have a beautiful space 🙂 the pictures are so stunning and exotic! Looking forward to reading more about your adventures!
‘Waves’ from sunny Singapore 🙂
Great to hear that you enjoy reading this blog 🙂 Singapore sounds as exotic to me as my pictures are to you 🙂
Hi! I love your blog, it’s really informative and the pictures are wonderful! Really hope to read more of your life in Greenland!
I just have to say that I’m fascinated by your life choices and so glad you are sharing them on this blog.
Thank you!! I´m glad to hear that…
Hi Ruth and Ingkasi, thank you for the fascinating blog! I am currently conducting research on subsistence hunting (and whaling in particular) in Greenland and have just returned home from Nuuk where I had the chance to interview some people. However, it would be interesting to hear from someone who lives in a more remote location and is more reliant on hunting. Would it maybe be possible to conduct a Skype interview with you two, or even communicate via email, in the coming weeks? If you’re at all interested in talking to me about the topic, since I’m sure I would learn a lot from you, please email me at: mimi.massala (at) student.uva.nl or contact me via Facebook. Best regards and have a lovely spring, Mimi
Hi Mimi, I`ve send you an e-mail 🙂 Best regards, Ruth
Hey! I nominated you for the Liebster Award: http://reykjavikchic.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/the-liebster-award/#more-1193
Check it out! 😉
Hello vediseir, – thank you so much, that is very encouraging! A few weeks ago, Rosh (darlynnrosh.wordpress.com) nominated me for the Liebster Award as well 🙂 I just haven`t respondet to it yet. I was planning to nominate you, too! I guess I have to answer 22 questions now, istead of 11 🙂
Hello Ruth and Johan! My name is Justine Ammendolia, I am a 23 year old Zoology student from Toronto, Ontario and I fellow outdoors lover! I just wanted to say outstanding blog, your images are amazing! I read that you occasionally take out tourists and I will be visiting Greenland in July. If it is possible to contact you for a travel opportunity and advice that would be fantastic, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you kindly and I anticipate any correspondence! Best, Justine
Hello Justine, I´m glad you enjoy the blog! I´ll send you an e-mail 🙂 Ruth
Interesting. You’re living quite an adventure. What’s the best cut of seal meat? And, how would you cook it?
We cook it in quite big pieces, often together with rice and onion, that way we get a soup out of it as well… this very popular greenlandic meal is called “suaasa”. Different people prefer different parts of a seal 🙂 I would say, too me, the ribbs are the best cut!
So glad I bumped into your blog. Greenland is terribly amazing. Following you guys now! =)
Thank you! Glad to hear that 🙂
I just came across these photos while researching a cultural history of the polar bear (for the University of Washington Press). Naturally, I’ll be giving plenty of space in this to indigenous practices and beliefs regarding polar bears. And while I have quite a few historical illustrations of the hunt, I lack a contemporary image — especially of a “traditional” hunt, including a dog team. In short, I’d love to include one of your fine photos in the book. In case you wonder about its “orientation: I have a degree in cultural anthropology (from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks); I also live in rural Alaska and am familiar with and embrace local subsistence activities that include hunting. I think it is important for “outsiders” to understand that other people have differing perspectives of this animal and animals in general, and with this book, hope to contribute to their understanding.
Please get in touch if you’re interested or would like to know more. I’d really appreciate that:
(in Nome, Alaska)
Thanks for sharing your life with us, along with Gary.s blog we can get an insightful perspective of life in Ittoqqortoormiit.
Having been on my” to go before I die” list for some time now I intend to visit Ittoqqortoormiit in March 2016.
Hi Chris, thanks for your message! Good to hear that you found the blogs helpful. Maybe we´ll see you in Ittoqqortoormiit this year, then? Safe travels!
I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch, I work at Renegade Pictures which is a TV production company based in London.
We have just been commissioned a sixth series of ‘Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild’ which airs on Channel 5 (UK) and BBC Worldwide (International). We are in the process of looking for people around the world to feature in the new series and I came across your incredible blog. I wanted to know if I could talk to you in a little more detail if it’s something you are potentially interested in.
The series overview: Adventurer Ben Fogle gets a taste of extreme escapism by spending time in some of the world’s most remote locations. He immerses himself into the lives of those who have turned their backs on the daily grind and who now inhabit these beautiful corners of the planet. Our intrepid guide also wonders whether these extraordinary individuals and their incredible experiences might tempt him to move his own family out of London and away from the comforts of the city.
It doesn’t matter if they are individuals, couples or families; just extraordinary people who have left a life of comfort and convenience and now live a challenging but incredibly fulfilling existence in far-flung corners of the globe. The series is an inspirational one that will open the eyes of the viewer to a new way of living.
My contact details are below so please do not hesitate to get in touch. Alternately if you know others who also might be interested I am more than happy for you to pass this message on.
Phone: +44 (0)207 449 3293
Hi Sophie, sorry for not responding to this message earlier. I have send you an e-mail today, from email@example.com Best wishes, Ruth
Håber at det går jer godt i det dejlige Grønland
Hils dem jeg kender og håber at i må få en glædelig Jul og godt nytår
Jeg kan se at der er flere af dine hunde som er meget røde er det efter Traktor ?
Hilsen Tommy Jensen
Hej Tommy, godt at høre fra dig! Ja, vi kom godt ind i det nye år. Hvordan går det med dig? – Det er kun en af minde røde hunde som er i familie med Traktor. Det er Kaju, som du mødte da han var helt ung, han er født i 2007 🙂 Han blev min yndlingshund, efter at Traktor døde. Han ligner meget sin far, og det bliver nok svært for mig at skille mig af med ham, når han ikke længere kan være med til at trække… Mange hilsen fra Ruth
Hallo Ruth, gerade habe ich euren Blog entdeckt. Gratuliere zu dieser tollen Idee. 2011 hatte ich das Vergnügen in
Itto zu zelten, von euch für vier Tage auf eine Insel gebracht zu werden und von dir Interessantes zu erfahren. Ich erinnere mich dankbar an diese schöne Zeit bei euch.
Das ist nun schon wieder 64 Monate her – eine lange Zeit; jetzt bin ich 63. Mal schauen, ob ich es in meinem Leben noch einmal schaffe zu euch zu kommen. Ich habe große Sehnsucht.
Alles Liebe und Gute für euch beide. Kommt gut ins Jahr 2017! Bleibt gesund und munter.!
Herzliche Grüße von Hans-Martin
Vielen Dank für Deine Nachricht! Ja, ich erinnere mich noch gut an Dich und die Überfahrt nach Kap Steward. Auch, dass Du dort eine Menge Moschuswolle gesammelt hast! Schön wäre es, Dich hier noch einmal wiederzusehen. Ab dem 1.1.2017 sind die Flüge wieder etwas günstiger geworden, von Akureyri in Nordisland ist man in 1-2 Stunden in Constabel Pynt. Wir wünschen auch Dir Alles Gute für`s Neue Jahr!!
Hallo Ruth und Johan,
ich freue mich sehr über eure Rückmeldung. Danke für den hilfreichen Tipp
zum Thema Flugverbindung und Preis. Eine Reise zu euch muss ich mir unbedingt noch einmal gönnen. Wir bleiben in Kontakt.
Ich habe von dir, Ruth, ein Tondokument gespeichert, dass ich vom NDR aufgenommen habe. Im Rahmen der
Sendung “Hamburger Hafenkonzert” hast du dem Redakteur ein Interview über deine / euere Lebensbedingungen gegeben.
Wenn ich das Dokument in meinen Dateien wiedergefunden habe, dann schicke ich es dir, falls du es nicht schon hast.
Ganz herzliche Grüße,
Hallo Hans-Martin, diesen Kommentar habe ich jetzt erst gelesen. An das Interview kann ich mich noch erinnern, ich habe es aber nie gehört. War es nicht von Besetzungsmitglieder der Dagmar Aaen gemacht? Also, bei Gelegenheit kannst Du es mir gerne zuschicken. Herzliche Grüsse, Ruth
Dear Ruth and Johan
Amazed that you took this huge step to live such far away in a different culture.
I’m young but once I’ll do this too! 😉
All the best and have a nice day!
Hi Ellie, thanks for your comment. Yes, it is a big step, and for me, Ruth, it started gradually, with smaller (baby)steps, as I first moved to another country in Europe before settling down in Greenland. I wish you all the best for your own journey 😉 Ruth
Thank you so much!
If I’ll ever get there in the next time you’ll see it on here ;-):
Hi Ruth, we were a group from Zurich that visited Ittoqotoormiit in March this year. I wish we came across your blog beforehand!!! What an incredible place your husband comes from and that you live in! I hope to be back someday.
Hi Syazwani, thanks for your kind words. I am sorry we did not meet when you were here. It sounds like you enjoyed your time in Ittoqqortooromiit? 😉 It is a very special place, indeed. Hope to see you here, if you ever come back!
First of all: Thank you for writing this blog and sharing your stories and pictures!
We want to make a long-lasting dream come true next year and plan to visit greenland between mid-august and the end of september for a 4 week trekking trip. The Scoresby Sund area seems to be beautiful and versatile and ideal for such a trip. Our idea is to walk from the airport Constable point around the Hurry fjord to Ittoqqortoormiit and fly back from there. Since it is not easy to get information about the region, we hope that maybe you could answer our most important questions:
– Are polar bears a threat in this region and time of year?
– Is Jameson land a good place for trekking in the summer or are there a lot of “wet areas” (moors, swamps and the like)?
Would be great if you could give us some information!
Thank you, all the best,
Ronja & Daniel
Hi Ronja & Daniel,
good to hear from you and your plans to hike in Greenland.
Polar Bears definitely are a threat in this region of Greenland – all year around! You need to be carrying a rifle at all times, outside of the Airport area or the village of Ittoqqortoormiit. As far as I know, it is possible to arrange the rent of a rifle (that you could pick up at Constable Point) through Nanu Travel. I myself prefer to bring a dog as well, but, you might be able to secure your camp at night in other ways, if you look into that.
I myself have not done the hike you plan to. But as far as I know, there aren`t a lot of wet areas, only in early summer when the snow is still melting. Bigger rivers can be challenging to cross. I have talked to people who have hiked across Jameson Land, and from CP to Itto. From what I understand, the Ryders Elv can be difficult. The later in the season, the better, and the dryer the summer has been, the better. So your timing looks good! But expect to get some snow in midt-late september! We usually have dry and sunny summers here, but not every year is the same. On YouTube, there are some videos of a hiking group from the Netherlands, who did some trips in this region, you might want to check that out.
You might want to arrange something with the tourist office, like the possibility to call them and be picked up by boat if you should not be able to cross the river? Or if you for any other reason would need help. Just in case, for peace of mind.
Otherwise, it is a beautiful landscape, and – you will most likely don`t meet any other hikers, so you´ll have it all to yourself 🙂
I hope that helps. Nanu Travels e-mail adress is firstname.lastname@example.org You are welcome to e-mail me if you´d like to stay in touch. I would love to meet you, when you get to Ittoqqortoormiit!
Hi Ruth, we’ve sent you a PM on Instagram:)
Ruth what is the spiritual life like for those in town? I know that alcoholism and suicide rates are high in Greenland. Perhaps your remoteness compared to other towns in Greenland makes a positive difference?
Hi Brent. Sorry for late reply. I do not think that our remoteness makes any positive difference in that regard -unfortunately. Our location makes it even harder to receive professional help. – Most inhabitants in Ittoqqortoormiit belong to the Greenlandic State Church (Lutheran). Although they might only go to church once in while, there is a strong sense of belonging, I think!
I have been in contact with Dominique Simmoneau.
I will be on th sail boat Kamak in Scoresby Sund from 7 to 21 August.
I will be very happy to meet you at Ittoqqortoormitt as Dominique was telling me that you can arrange for us 2, sled dog on Jameson Land.
I have previous experience in Qaanaaq for a week, in 2015, that was outstanding!
I will be at the village the 7 or 8 and the 21 I think.
Hope to see you if you can.
can you email me and give me your contact.
Hi Pierre-Jean, you can e-mail me at email@example.com and if I am in the village during your stay here, we can meet! I won’t be in the village all the time, though. But I’ll look out for the Kamak when I’m home! Best regards, Ruth
A very inspirational story. I have been reading about this area and believe it is a nice place to live.
nach meinem Aufenthalt vor fast 10 Jahren plane ich nun eine neue Reise nach Ittoqqortoormiit. Würde mich freuen, wenn wir den Kontakt wieder aufnehmen könnten.
Schön, dass Du eine neue Reise planst!
Du kannst mich gerne unter firstname.lastname@example.org kontaktieren!
Schön, von Dir zu hören.
Wann kommst Du?
Ich reise am 1. August ab, vorerst für 1 Jahr.
Viele Grüße von Ruth