(ThePoles.com) We are here! The crossing is complete, reported Sarah, Eric and Curtis. The kids have kite-skied across Greenland from south to north, without resupplies. Yesterday they pitched their tent for the last time not on a glacier, but by the sea, after toasting to success with a sip of Scotch and a swim in the Arctic waters.
Off the glacier, the rough way
Today's event: descending from the base of the glacier to hopefully spend one night camped at sea level and catch a boat the next morning, Curtis reported yesterday.
"After the traumatic way we started this trip, with four days of intensive hauling up to the ice cap, we were prepared for the worst on the way down. With a little discussion over breakfast, we decided to attempt the move in one long, hard push: dragging two pulks each, over sled-shredding boulders and snow fields alike."
The descent consisted of mostly dramatic and steep drops, as we had 700m to descend before we could take our boots off and break out the scotch, he said.
As the hours passed so too did our energy level, but we knew each forward and increasingly wobbly footstep would bring us closer to the ocean, Curtis said. After nine grueling hours we sat at the waters edge admiring the view from sea level and wondering if mosquitoes could be wiped from the face of the earth. We even took some time to jump in the ocean and swim a little...very little, it is northern Greenland after all.
Sarah (21) and Eric McNair-Landry (22) and friend Curtis Jones (29) have completed a south-to-north crossing of the Greenland icecap (nearly 2,300km), using kites but no resupplies.
Eric and Sarah have grown up in Canada's north and have been into outdoor activities for as long as they can remember. They learned how to dogsled at the early age of 10 and soon after started organizing their own camping trips. Eric was the first to pick up kiting and quickly inspired the rest of the family to join in. Soon after, the family looked into doing polar kiting adventures, testing the idea with the Greenland 2003 Kites on Ice Expedition.
During the winter of 2004/2005, Sarah and Eric joined their mother on the Antarctica Kites on Ice Expedition, a 2000km trip from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole and back. Shortly after the expedition, Sarah and Eric returned to Greenland with their dad, setting the world record for the fastest icecap crossing at seven days. That winter, Sarah also joined the Adventure Ecology Mission 1 Arctic Ocean Crossing Expedition, a 100-day expedition which successfully made it to the North Pole.
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