Summit Camp

Summit Camp

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Summit Camp, also Summit Station, is a year-round research station on the apex of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Greenland ice sheet
The Greenland ice sheet is a vast body of ice covering , roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. It is the second largest ice body in the world, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The ice sheet is almost long in a north-south direction, and its greatest width is at a latitude of 77°N, near its...

. Its coordinates are variable, since the ice is moving. The coordinates provided here are as of July 2009. The station is located 3216 meters above sea level. The population of the station is typically five in wintertime, and has peaked at 55 in the summer.

The station is operated by CH2M HILL
CH2M Hill
CH2M Hill is an American-based global provider of engineering, construction, and operations services for corporations, nonprofits, and federal, state, and local governments. The firm is headquartered in Meridian, an unincorporated area of Douglas County, Colorado in the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan...

 Polar Services (formerly known as Veco Polar Resources), with support from the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...


A permit from the Danish Polar Center and of Greenland' Home Rule Government (Namminersornerullutik Oqartussat) is required to visit the station.


The camp is located approximately 360 km from the east coast and 500 km from the west coast of Greenland at (Saattut
Saattut is a settlement in the Qaasuitsup municipality, in northwestern Greenland, Located on a small Saattut Island, southeast of Appat Island and northeast of Uummannaq in the Uummannaq Fjord system, the settlement had 212 inhabitants in 2010.- Transport :Air Greenland serves the village as part...

, Uummannaq
Uummannaq is a town in the Qaasuitsup municipality, in northwestern Greenland. With 1,299 inhabitants as of 2010, it is the eleventh-largest town in Greenland, and is home to the country's most northerly ferry terminal...

), and 200 km NNE
As an abbreviation, NNE may stand for:*Non-viable National Economy*North-northeast*Novo Nordisk Engineering...

 of the historical ice sheet camp Eismitte
Eismitte, in English also called Mid-Ice, was the site of an Arctic expedition in the interior of Greenland that took place from July 1930 through August 1931, and claimed the life of noted German scientist Alfred Wegener....

. The closest town is Ittoqqortoormiit
Ittoqqortoormiit is a settlement in the Sermersooq municipality in eastern Greenland. Its population is 469 as of 2010.The Danish name Scoresbysund derives from the name of the Arctic explorer and whaler William Scoresby, who was the first to map the area in 1822. The Greenlandic name...

, 460 km ESE
ESE or Ese may refer to:*East-southeast, a cardinal direction*ESE , Exceptional Student Education*Easy Serving Espresso Pod*Ethical Sensory Extrovert*European School of Economics*European Society of Endocrinology...

 of the station. The station however is not part of Sermersooq
Sermersooq is a new municipality in Greenland, operational from 1 January 2009. It is home to Nuuk , the capital of Greenland, and is the most populous municipality in the country, with 21,232 inhabitants as of January 2010...

 municipality, but falls within the bounds of the Northeast Greenland National Park
Northeast Greenland National Park
Northeast Greenland National Park is the largest national park in the world, with an area of , making the park larger than 163 countries. It is the only national park in Greenland, and the most northerly national park in the world, its most northerly point reaching slightly further than the most...


Summit Camp consist of the Big House (main building), Greenhouse (research building) with attached Berthing Module, a combined garage and generator building, Swiss Tower, the summertime Tent City, and storage buildings..


Summit Camp was originally established in April 1989 in support of the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) deep ice coring effort. A ski-equipped C-130 from the New York Air National Guard performed an open snow landing near the site, bringing the put-in team consisting of Mark Twickler, Jay Klink, Michael Morrison, and two navigation specialists. They located the exact location chosen for the GISP2 drilling site, established a camp, and laid out the runway. Subsequent flights brought in additional materials and personnel needed to build the station. Two major structures were planned and built: The Big House, an insulated panel building (housing a galley, common space, and office), elevated to minimize snow drifts; and a geodesic drill dome to house the deep drill. Extensive under-snow trenches were also constructed to house the core handling, processing, and storage facilities. Many smaller weatherports and tents were also erected as storage and shop areas, as well as sleeping quarters. These were erected and taken down each season. On July 1, 1993, the bedrock was reached. Originally a summer station only, the station had been manned year round since the early 2000s, with a winter population of 4 to 5.


Summer temperatures range from 0°C to -40°C, and winter temperatures from -25°C to -60°C.


During the summer months the camp is accessed via Kangerlussuaq Airport
Kangerlussuaq Airport
Kangerlussuaq Airport is an airport in Kangerlussuaq, a settlement in the Qeqqata municipality in central-western Greenland. Alongside Narsarsuaq Airport, it is one of only two civilian airports in Greenland large enough to handle large airliners, having more stable weather, being located further...

 with C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 aircraft which land on a 4572 m by 60 m (15,000' by 200') snow runway, which is prepared and regularly groomed for ski-equipped aircraft. Winter access is infrequent, using smaller, ski-equipped aircraft such as a Twin Otter flown by Air Greenland
Air Greenland
Air Greenland A/S is the flag carrier airline of Greenland, jointly owned by the government of Greenland, the SAS Group, and the government of Denmark...


See also

  • NEEM Camp
    NEEM Camp
    NEEM Camp is a small research facility on the northern Greenland Ice Sheet, used as a base for ice core drilling. It is located about 313 km east of the closest coast, Peabody Bay in northern Greenland, 275 km northwest of the historical ice sheet camp North Ice, and 484 km ENE of...

  • Raven Camp
  • North Grip
  • Camp Century
  • Eismitte
    Eismitte, in English also called Mid-Ice, was the site of an Arctic expedition in the interior of Greenland that took place from July 1930 through August 1931, and claimed the life of noted German scientist Alfred Wegener....

  • North Ice
    North Ice
    North Ice was the name of a research station of the British North Greenland Expedition on the inland ice of Greenland. The coordinates of the station were , with an altitude of 2,345 metres above sea level...

  • Renland

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