Greenland wrap-up: Waiting for kiting winds

Posted: May 19, 2010 07:11 pm EDT

The kite teams on Greenland are waiting for favorable winds to sail across the snow with their heavy sleds. As they planned for long distances and many days on the ice (up to 100), their sleds are heavy and therefore hauling is difficult and very slow.

Cecilie Skog and Bjorn SekkesĂŚters womens team finished their west-east crossing.

Narsaq Cape Morris Jesup Qaanaaq (kite):
Vesa Luomala and Toni Vaartimo

No news only stats updates, which indicated that the Finns still fought a battle with the windless, warm days. No wind means they have to pull their sleds. Their sleds get lighter by the day as they started off with a load for 100 days each.

Stats May 14, Days on ice: 23
Location: 61.24N, 46.48W
Latest day distance 8,9 km
Total distance: 53,5 km
Height: 1403 m
Temperature: +5°C
Wind 0-1m/s N/E

Isortoq Ilulissat; Narsaq Qaanaaq (kite):
Jon Chalmers and Carl Alvey

After the storm the Brits got out at 4 am. With favorable winds blowing they got their kites out and gained some miles.

On May 16 they reported, We tried to kite last night but found it too cold when eye lashes froze and feet went numb. Today we managed 60 km into wind. Our knees are dead.

Yesterday they said they have decided to drop some height with the NW wind and gained some distance. They hoped the SW wind arrives on the 20th to get them north again.

World Wide Weather 4 Expeditions, advice for the guys is, [May 19] the SW is expected to be pretty weak, however try to go as far N to W as you possibly can; that rewards on [May 21]. On [May 20] wait till wind picks up after 18/21utc.

Narsaq Qaanaaq (kite):
Sebastian Copeland and Eric McNair-Landry

The guys started their south-north kite expedition and Sebastian reported on Day 3, May 16 that they camped in the afternoon and started skiing at 7 pm again because of the warm day temperatures.

Climbing up the glacier they found themselves in the middle of a crevasse field. Each variation in color had to be carefully considered, for what might pass for hard ice could in fact be but a flimsy bridge. The cooling temperatures would no doubt solidify this treacherous terrain, but is a point of diminishing returns when the dropping light makes challenging the deciphering of color or textural changes.

Often, we might make out the curving droop of gravity doing its work on a weak bridge. But for the most part, we probe each step ahead of us with a ski poll, extracting information that can mean the difference between going through; or not, said Sebastian.

Both of them went through the ice up to their upper bodies and to worsen matters, said Sebastian, the ice's surface in the end has not harden enough to support their weight and they sank to their ankle with each step. At midnight they were out of the crevasse field.

In the latest update on May 18 the team was still climbing up the ice cap and reached 1289m.

Position May 18, Day 5:
61° 21.447N, W46° 46.910W
Temp -10°C

Start DYE II to near Qaanaaq (kite):
Nils Arne Ro, Paal Brudevoll, Hans Friis and Ragnar Sandmark (X-Greenland team)

The Norwegians were dropped off by the Twin Otter at DYE II on May 13. The weather was beautiful with little wind, they reported. Temperature was -10°C. They assembled their equipment had a nice freeze dried dinner and visited the deserted, spooky radar station. Team Latitude was the last team that signed the visitors book. They said Latitude left a present for the next incoming team, Hvirtserk. The X-Greenland team also visited the Americans at camp Raven and The Ice Core drillers.

The next day they sailed away from DYE ll in almost perfect conditions, the team reported. Nice, powdery snow and a light breeze (5 m/s) gave us a nice cruising speed. During the first day we cruised 90 km north. The temperature had dropped down to -25°C when we finally got into the tent.

That was the end of the wind. On Day 3 they traveled only 10 km, pulling their sleds. There were winds high up but not strong enough to pull all their equipment.

Stats May 16, Day 4
Position: 67° 1726N, 045° 4045W
Wind: 0 m/s
Distance today/total: 0 km/102 km

Kangerlussuaq (Sønder Strømfjord or Point 660) to Isortoq or Nagtivit Glacier:

Christian Eide and Team Latitude (Pal, Fredrik, Hans Christian, Silje, Anne, Matilda, Rune and Thomas)

In contrast with the warm weather at the start the team woke up in -30°C at their camp the day before they passed the highest point of their westeast crossing. The first three sessions were hard and they struggled to keep warm. Icicles were hanging down from the sunglasses and beards, reported the team. The summit was at 2500 m, with a good glide and good skiing conditions; good and hard snow and small sastrugi.

The team said they are making good progress because the group is strong and well-trained. Christian has also worked hard to develop sledges that glide easier across the snow. They are childrens sleds mounted on skis.

Yesterday the team had the wind from behind and skied a marathon distance. We are now about 120 km from the top of the glacier. From there, we have a day to Isortoq. If the weather is with us, we are down Saturday night / Sunday morning.

Stats May 18: 66.1602N, 42.0338W
Height 2189 meter
Distances: 37.1 km, 40.2 km, 38.2km, 42.6 km

Cecilie Skog, Bjorn SekkesÌter, Aud Ingri Mediü Lenning, Sølvi Oak, Magnhild S. Hatløy, Nina Marie Pedersen, Else Haugland, Unni Storm Johannsen Nordahl, Marianne Aamodt, Solveig Nordstrand, Ada Sofie Austegard, Elin Fossum and Kristine Wikander

On May 17 the team reported that they have finished a coast to coast ski trek of more than 600 km and have climbed 2500 meter in 23 days.

The second last day the team camped on top of the glacier. They skied 41 km to position themselves there and described the last rays of the sun on the mountains as magical. The next day was about 35 km down to the coast.

The team was transported by helicopter from Isortoq to Tasiilaq.

Ivar Hoel and Thor Elvebakk and Hvitserk team (Trygve, Solveig, Shoresh, Vibeke, Caroline, Teija, Ingrid and Thomas)

This Norwegian team skis about 30 km per day and reported good weather. They explained more about their daily routine getting up at 6 am, start skiing at eight and do 10 sessions of 50 minutes each with a lunch break at 1 pm of half an hour.

If things go according to plan the team should arrive at DYE II on May 20.

Catherine Fortier and FrĂŠdĂŠric Rouillard

The Canadians experienced colder temperatures and wind at the top of the Inland ice.

In their latest dispatch the team wrote, On the web site ExplorersWeb there is a list of the 10 rules to follow during a polar expedition. One of them says, "Get Outside and face the storm!" That is what we have done over the last few days with -30° (-22°F), and wind between 25 and 50 km/h (15.5 to 31 miles/h), we Faced the Storm, two days in a row! With the wind chill factor, the temperature was about -47°C (-52.5°F). Luckily, the wind at was at our backs, the result is that we traveled over 47 km (29 miles) in 2 days. A strong wind from the back IS very helpful!

Aleksander Gamme and Norwegian team (Petter, Cecilie, Thomas, Svein, Øyvind, Birgitte and Alfi)

The team started on May 5 and reached DYE II on May 13. They reported mostly good weather with cold temperatures on the higher Inland ice; -35C in the morning. They skied up to 30 km per day. In the latest dispatch Aleksander said the weather was perfect and he doesnt want to be anywhere else. They met the Latitude team and had fun.

With only 185 km left to the east coast on May 17, they aim to finish in six days.

Isortoq or Nagtivit Glacier to Kangerlussuaq (Sønderstrøm Fjord or Point 660):

Ben Thackwray and Ian Couch

The Brits are back home after their coast to coast crossing.

Links
Greenland:
Toni Vaartimo and Vesa Luomala - Finland
Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland (Sebastians blog) - Canada and USA/France
Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland - Canada and USA/France
Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland - Canada and USA/France
Jon Chalmers and Carl Alvey - UK
Mike Dann, Tim Tottenham, Simon Edmundson and Paddy Scott - UK, PolarIce blog
Mike Dann, Tim Tottenham, Simon Edmundson and Paddy Scott - UK, PolarIce website
Nils Arne Ro, Paal Brudevoll, Hans Friis and Ragnar Sandmark - Norway
Christian Eides team Latitude (Pal, Fredrik, Hans Christian, Silje, Anne, Matilda, Rune and Thomas) - Norway
Christian Eides team Latitude - Norway map and photos
Cecilie Skog, Aud Ingri Mediü Lenning, Sølvi Oak, Magnhild S. Hatløy, Nina Marie Pedersen, Else Haugland, Unni Storm Johannsen Nordahl, Marianne Aamodt, Solveig Nordstrand, Ada Sofie Austegard, Elin Fossum, Kristine Wikander and Bjorn SekkesÌter - Norway
Ivar Hoel and Thor Elvebakk and the 8 Hvitserk skiers (Trygve, Solveig, Shoresh, Vibeke, Caroline, Teija, Ingrid and Thomas) - Norway
Terje With Lunndal and Christian Iversen Styve - Norway (aborted)
Ben Thackwray and Ian Couch - UK (finished)
Jari Nousiainen, Johanna Nousiainen, Lauri Lahtinen and Marko Savola - Finland (finished)
Catherine Fortier and FrĂŠdĂŠric Rouillard - Canada
Martin HĂźlle and Johannes Lang Germany
Aleksander Gamme and Petter, Cecilie, Thomas, Svein, Øyvind, Birgitte and Alfi - Norway
Erik Jørgensen kayak - Denmark

Webcam and weather conditions at Summit Camp on the Greenland Ice Cap
World Wide Weather for Expeditions

#Polar









X-Greenland team: The wind was not strong enough to carry all our equipment, so we decided to stay at the same camp and prepare for a quick departure - at any time in case of increasing wind (click to enlarge)
SOURCE
Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland at the warm windless start in south Greenland wishing for winds to kite. Image over Contact5 (click to enlarge)
courtesy Sebastian Copeland, SOURCE
Sebastian Copeland: To find the reasons to push forward has a lot to do with why you're there in the first place. Image over Contact5 (click to enlarge)
Image by Eric McNair-Landry courtesy Sebastian Copeland, SOURCE
With sleds mounted on skis, Christian Eide and his Latitude team travel more than 40 km per day (click to enlarge)
courtesy Christian Eide, SOURCE
Cecilie Skog and Bjorn Sekkesæters team elated at the end of their crossing (click to enlarge)
SOURCE
X-Greenland team: Picture taken from the Twin-Otter: Approaching the Inland ice, we passed the ice fall. The spring melting is in full progress, and BIG temporary rivers are seen in the landscape. Crossing this type of landscape can be a very wet experience. (click to enlarge)
SOURCE