The Finns finished near Qaanaaq; and the McNair-Landry kids' new expedition

Posted: Jul 08, 2010 07:24 pm EDT

Vesa Luomala and Toni Vaartimo ended their Narsaq to Qaanaaq kite ski expedition in the middle of meltwater and crevasses near Qaanaaq.

Eric McNair-Landry, who recently got off the Greenland ice after setting a new kite distance world record with Sebastian Copeland is in Mongolia busy with last preparations for a new expedition.

Vesa Luomala and Toni Vaartimo

Originally Vesa Luomala and Toni Vaartimo planned to kite ski from Narsaq in the south of Greenland to Cape Morris Jesup in the far north and then to Qaanaaq in the northwest. Unfavorable winds and unnatural warm weather left them no choice to change their route and they kited directly towards Qaanaaq.

The two Finns give the following statistics about their expedition on their website. They were 67 days on the ice, made 36 camps and covered 2229 km.

During their last week on the ice they set their personal best of kiting 50 km in 1.5 hours. As a whole that day they kited 175 km.

By that time they started to approach the Qaanaaq area and after the 77th latitude the terrain turned into a fairyland, they reported. On a velvet-like snow we experienced the greatest kiting moments of the entire expedition. The last full kiting day started in the night between Thursday June the 24th and Friday June the 25th at 2 a.m.

We were speeding further north and when we reached the 78th latitude we turned west. On Friday morning we saw the first rim mountains and the feeling was great. Finally something else than just snow and ice. The wind started to die out in the evening and after 16 hours and 220 kilometers of kiting we were about 30 kilometers from the edge of the glacier.

During the night between Saturday and Sunday they still continued another 4 kilometers until meltwater and dangerous crevasses stopped their progress. It looked that we were totally blocked from every direction. We started to check chopper prices in order to get safely down from here.

The helicopter flew them out to Qaanaaq.

Eric McNair-Landry and team

Eric, who kite skied with Sebastian Copeland recently on Greenland and set a new kite distance world record, is in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia at the moment, busy with the final preparations for his next expedition. With him are his teammates - his sister Sarah and friends, Ulysse Bergeron and Elsa Fortin-Pomerleau.

This time the McNair-Landry kids are not kiting, not skiing, they are not on the ice or in a desert; they are on a three month canoe trip through Russia and Mongolia.

Thee team will start their journey in Northwestern Mongolia on Lake Khovsgol and will paddle 2000 km into Russia. During the trip they will paddle both the Eg and Sleng Rivers, eventually leading them across the Russian border and into Lake Baikal.

News about the expedition sent through to ExplorersWeb by Sarah.

Click here for their website and check in at ExplorersWeb for updates during the expedition.

Toni Vaartimo and Vesa Luomala - Finland


Vesa and Toni: Melt waters and bad crevasses stopped our progress. It looked that we were totally blocked from every direction. (click to enlarge)
courtesy Vesa Luomala and Toni Vaartimo, SOURCE
Eric McNair-Landry, Sarah McNair-Landry, Ulysse Bergeron and Elsa Fortin-Pomerleau: Lake Khovsgol to Lake Baikal (click to enlarge)

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