Welcome to Tangent Expeditions!
The World's leading operator of mountaineering and ski expeditions to Arctic Greenland!
The Only 'comprehensive' website guide to mountaineering and ski-touring expeditions to Arctic Greenland.
20 years of research, planning, guiding and expertise; unrivalled experience, focus & attention to detail.
Tangent Expeditions International was formed in January 1990 by Paul Walker, an Honours degree graduate of the Outdoor Education course at Charlotte Mason College, Ambleside in north west England. In October 2006 the business was converted to a Limited Company. Paul Walker remains the sole Director and Secretary.
The business was formed to explore and develop ski touring and mountaineering opportunities in Greenland, following a private 2 month long university expedition organised and led by Paul in 1989. Paul has maintained this vision throughout and after 19 years is still opening up new areas for expeditions to visit, with numerous first ascent opportunities every year.
Between 1990 and 1997 Tangent operated mainly in the areas to the north of Kulusuk and Tasiilaq, namely the mountain ranges of the Schweizerland Alps, Caledonian Alps, Kronprins Frederik Bjerge and the region surrounding Mont Forel (3360m). Since 1998 the focus has been switched to the more remote and exciting ranges north of 67 degrees where numerous new alpine ranges have been explored, right up to Dronning Louise Land at 73 degrees north. From 2008 onwards there will be considerable work involved in opening up further ranges of peaks amongst the nunatak mountains on the fringe of the main Greenland ice sheet. This has started already with two expeditions to Paul Stern Land in 2008 and will continue over the coming years. We will also continue to make numerous first ascents of previously unclimbed peaks in a whole host of other mountain ranges that we have opened up over the last decade, and of course include some of the classics that we specialize in, such as ascents of all the highest peaks in the Arctic, along with major new icecap crossing routes and journeys.
Tangent Expeditions Ltd employs just two staff, Director and Secretary Paul Walker and our Office Administrator Julia . During the peak season from January to August there are often additional staff employed to help with food and equipment purchasing, packing and freighting. In the Autumn our equipment is all sorted, checked, cleaned and repaired by a local team of freelance outdoor instructors.
Tangent also employs the freelance services of a number of hand picked and experienced UK qualified Mountaineering Instructors and Mountain Guides. All are people known personally to me (Paul Walker) and the majority of whom I have known and worked with in the outdoors for many years. When operating in remote areas such as Greenland for long periods of time it is essential that our expedition leaders are not only experienced and qualified but also have the local knowledge and strength of character to be of interest to team members. All our leaders are people of interest to be with and I hope that this will be reflected in the way we run our expeditions in an informal and friendly way. Above all we want to make sure that team members feel they have been on an expedition with a group of friends rather than a commercial expedition.
For clarification we prefer to describe our leaders as just that; Expedition Leaders. Although most are qualified instructors and mountain guides we feel that it is not necessarily always appropriate to view them in that role on expedition. Our expeditions are NOT courses, being run by instructors. Neither is the leader 'guiding' the group in the more usual sense that you might find on a 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 basis in the European Alps for example. Our ratios are usual one leader to approximately 4 to 6 clients. In this scenario it is not always possible to provide traditional guiding services in the usual sense. Our expeditions are run on the underlying principle that team members are all relatively experienced and have the suitable knowledge and experience to join our expeditions. In this sense we go out there as a team, working together to achieve the overall aims for everybody. We have been consistently praised for not running our trips as heavily 'guided' where the leader makes all the decisions and the team feel that they are being 'looked after' and decisions taken away from them. We believe that all the basic decisions should be made as a team, but of course backed up and overseen by a much more experienced leader/guide. Of course in matters of safety the leader will always have the ultimate right to exercise his experience and authority to ensure that the group are safe at all times. If people wish to take part in an expedition that does provide greater 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 support then of course we would be more than happy to quote for individuals or pairs bringing along their own guide or Tangent providing additional personal guiding services at additional cost.
A full list of Tangent leaders and guides can be found on the sub menu "Leaders / Guides" which includes further background information and experience of each leader.
If there is any further or more specific information that you would like to know about your leader then please don't hesitate to ask. We are of course also happy to pass on your leader's contact details upon booking so that you can have direct contact with them prior to your expedition taking place.
It is normal for all our leaders to have significant previous experience of leading other Tangent expeditions to Greenland. It also goes without saying that they are all full time outdoor professionals working in the outdoor industry as their main profession. They love the idea of exploring, climbing and ski touring in Greenland every bit as much as you and are always keen to come back and lead more trips. In that way they also build up a great deal of local knowledge and experience over several years. Occasionally of course it becomes necessary to take on board a new leader but this is always on the basis that they come personally recommended by one or more of our current leaders. That way we can continue to guarantee the quality and experience of our specialist team.
Tangent maintains links with many outdoor professionals through the course of our business. Primarily we encourage other self employed mountaineering instructors and mountain guides to bring their own private groups to Greenland, with Tangent acting in a support and logistics role only. This enables guides to bring their own clients and have a personally tailored trip organised specific to that client group. It also allows guides the flexibility to set their own prices and guiding fees. Organising Greenland expeditions from scratch can take many months, if not years, to fully research and put together yourself. Therefore it is a huge benefit to guides to have a professional and respected company handle the whole logistics package on their behalf, allowing them to focus purely on the climbing objectives. This maximises their profitability whilst reducing their workload. It also ultimately brings down the price to the client as the pre-expedition workload involved for the guide is much reduced.
1. To open up new and exciting mountain ranges in east and north east Greenland.
3. To provide ongoing opportunities for groups and individuals to make first ascents of previously unclimbed peaks in east and northeast Greenland.
4. To open up new routes for icecap crossing journeys and expeditions in Greenland.
5. To offer fantastic opportunities for true arctic expedition experiences in areas that often replicate the potential of Antarctica but at a fraction of the price.
6. To offer cost effective logistics solutions to private and independent groups wishing to run their own expeditions to Greenland.
7. To act as a logistics and consultancy network for all aspects of alpine climbing and ski touring expeditions to Arctic Greenland.
Through 20 years of planning and leading expeditions to Greenland, Tangent has gained itself an unrivaled reputation as providing outstanding expedition opportunities to remote parts of arctic Greenland. Because of that success it now finds itself in a position whereby it is necessary to make a major step change in the way we operate. It is with that in mind that over the coming years we shall be looking to further develop and expand our office staff and consolidate our expedition experience. We will continue to develop our program of expeditions so that it always has opportunities for first ascents every year, whilst maintaining the core classics such as our east-west icecap crossing and ascents of the Arctic's highest mountains. We will also be developing new markets in Greenland, which will include combining other pursuits with the fantastic potential that Greenland has to offer. For example kite skiing and para sailing are new pursuits being currently developed in Greenland by Tangent Expeditions. The former was initially instigated by the successful kite-ski expedition with Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 2007. We shall also be launching a new monthly newsletter in Autumn 2008 and embarking on a major email and postal marketing campaign to raise awareness of the vast adventure expedition potential that Greenland has to offer.