Greenland wrap-up: Difficult descends

Posted: May 19, 2009 07:40 pm EDT

(ThePoles.com) Teams descending from the Inland Ice down to both the West and East Coasts reported difficult terrain. Several teams finished and other teams were ready to start. Three Norwegian men teams are doing horizontal crossings. No evacuations were reported.

Jesper Melin Ganc-Petersen and Erik Bruun Jørgensen (Denmark)

No English updates.

Day 65, 18 May, Travelled 35 km
minus 10, 5 knots North wind
Position 82°96N: 023°13W

Devon McDiarmid, Derek Crowe (Canada) and Adrian Hayes (UK/UAE)

The guys are ready to leave on their 3500 km kite skiing expedition on Wednesday. They are in Narsaq. To get there wasnt without problems. Skis were missing, onward flights were missed, but eventually team and gear arrived at their base camp in Narsaq.

Adrian wrote about Greenland, Pretty much blown away by the amazing scenery and vastness of the terrain here. And littered with communities with brightly coloured houses makes it a photographers dream.

Then the preparation started, unpacking, sorting, reading, weighing, dividing, more weighing, packing, and, yes, more weighing of food. 65 days of rations to pack, carefully calculated to be 5000+ calories and as minimal weight (and volume) as possible, Adrian explained.

Carl Alvey and Carolyn Bailey (guides) and Helena Nunan, Nicola Rowland, Danny Golding and Andy Stevenson (UK, Fuchs Foundation)

The team experienced a storm. Spindrift built up against the tents despite some mighty fine walls dug the night before. They had to go outside in the storm to do some shovelling.

The team experienced soft and mushy snow, which Carl compared to skiing through porridge.

The home team reported that the team are receiving daily weather forecasts from Mark de Keyser who has been hailed by the team as a Belgian god of weather as he has been spot on with every single forecast so much so that Danny commented that he may actually control the weather.

Niall McCann (UK/Can) and Murray Smith (UK) - Team Epic

Niall described the final stages to their destination, Point 660, as strangely cranial, each of us scanning the horizon for the best route through the minefield.

It was a minefield of crevasses, increasingly disturbed terrain and blue ice groves. Towers of rock hard ice as big as a bus barred our passage as we zigzagged through the labyrinth.

Niall reflected on their hardships, This trip has had a bit of everything - breakages, blisters, sunburn, snowblindness, frostbite (just a little bit, not to panic anyone at home), falling into crevasses and now at the very end this wonderful natural spectacle is providing one final obstacle.

Antony Jinman (UK), Bill Colson (UK), Aanneli Nesteng and Alekander Filibombombom Gamme (Norway), Dennis Steinemann (Switzerland) and Hans Horvath (Austria)

The team was nearing the West Coast and saw mountains. On Monday the camped 20 km from the edge of the Icecap. Most of the team will end their expedition there, but Antony and Alex will walk some 40-50 km to Kangerlussuaq.

Antony described their time on the ice as follows, Everyone has worked extremely well over the past 4 weeks and good team work has brought us to this point. It has certainly been a challenge and we have over come many obstacles. The highlights of which include struggling through knee deep powder snow, a couple of fantastic storms, -43°C and a number of minor injuries.

Cecilie Skog (guide), Silje Padøy, Linn Katrine Yttervik, Bjørn SekkesÌter (Norway) and Ryan Waters (USA)

During the past week the team experienced a storm that kept them tent bounded for two days.

The second last day they started skiing at two in the morning to hopefully get a super crust to glide on, reported their home team.

Unfortunately it didnt work like that. Due to all the loose snow underneath, it broke, and the first skiers felt more like icebreakers. It was terribly heavy going. Luckily it all changed late in the day, and they nailed some welcome fast kilometres late in the day. They skied 44.3 km in 15 hours and were camping near the end of the Inland Ice.

The last day the team travelled 50+ km in 17 hours and reported very wet and deep snow. They saw the first mountains and Nunataks on the East Coast. From there the terrain vaulted downwards in huge waves. Then suddenly the ocean appeared with thousand of icebergs. They could hardly have wished for a more fantastic end to their Greenland crossing, said the home team.

Off the solid ice the team negotiated some melting sea ice to a point where they were picked up by a boat and taken to Isortoq. From there they flew to Tasiilaq by helicopter.

Other Norwegian teams

Christian Eide, who led a South Pole expedition in the 2008-09 season is on Greenland leading a team of 7 men on a horizontal crossing from west to east.

Hviserk has a team of nine members on the Greenland Ice: Morten, Per, Johannes, Britt, Christian, Alf Johnny and Bernt Arne with expedition leaders Lars Mausethagen and Atle Trodal. They have started from Point 660.

Sjur Mørdre and a team were ready to depart from Point 660. Team members are Bjørn Arne Evensen, John Helge Inderdal, Leif Arne Fardal, Eirik Tryti, Jon Olav Hjerpaasen, Sjur Mørdre, Eirik Hagen and Erik Nilsen.

All dispatches are in Norwegian.

Links to Arctic 2009 expeditions

Greenland
Devon McDiarmid, Derek Crowe and Adrian Hayes (Emirates NBD Greenland Expedition)
Jesper Melin Ganc-Petersen and Erik Bruun Jørgensen (Denmark)
Carl Alvey and Carolyn Bailey (guides) and Helena Nunan, Nicola Rowland, Danny Golding and Andy Stevenson (Fuchs Foundation)
Timo Stenros, Kossila Kari, Kokko Jani, Parkkinen Teija, Suhonen Arto and Västinsalo Rami Raimo (Finland)
Simon Elmont and Steve Wright (Channel Islands)
Henry Cookson (UK) and Jenny Viney (SA)
Niall McCann (UK/Can) and Murray Smith (UK) - Team Epic
Antony Jinman (UK)
Norwegians, Cecilie Skog (guide), Silje Padøy, Linn Katrine Yttervik, Bjørn SekkesÌter and Ryan Waters (USA)
ChloĂŤ Courtauld (UK), Constant Tedder (UK), and Dines Mikaelsen (guide, Greenland) Ice Cap Station Expedition
Nerthus-Explore west to east expedition (Danish)
Hvitserk (Norway)
Christian Eides team (Norway)
Sjur Mødres team (Norway)
#Polar









Adrian: Helicopters are the means of travel for many of the outlying communities when the fjords are iced up and as was the case with the fjord from Narsarsuaq to Narsaq. Live image over Contact 4.0 courtesy of greenlandquest.com (click to enlarge)
Adrian and Devon unpacking, sorting, reading, weighing, dividing, more weighing, packing Live image over Contact 4.0 courtesy of greenlandquest.com (click to enlarge)
Antony about DYE2: It was a fascinating experience looking around as it was abandoned with a lot of equipment left behind. Live image over Contact 4.0 courtesy of humanedgetech.com/expedition/jinman (click to enlarge)
The [Fuchs] team travelled late into the night in order to cover the distance required to keep them up to date and on target for their schedule. Live image over Contact 4.0 courtesy of fuchsfoundation.org (click to enlarge)
[] the terrain vaulted downwards in huge waves. Then suddenly the ocean appeared with thousand of icebergs. Image of Isortoq courtesy of Lars Ebbesen/ Cecilies expedition website (click to enlarge)
Christian Eide (front) and his Norwegian team. Live image courtesy of latitude.no (click to enlarge)

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