(By Correne Coetzer) After 2,800 km it was time to make critical decisions about their route again, reported Eric and Sarah McNair-Landry; would there be enough snow on the 400 km trail to make it to Pond Inlet and furthermore what would be the best trail? They studied maps and talked to the locals at their present location, Igloolik.
Good snow but melting rivers
After talking with the locals it appears that this year has had a late spring and exceptionally good snow, however the rivers will soon open and because Pond Inlet has been getting more sunlight the snow has likely melted more further north, said Eric. The route that they have been recommended is one of the traditional dog sledding routes.
Eric stated that they have already traveled over 2,800 km and only 400 km remain to attain their goal of Pond Inlet. Our detour south around the Boothia strait has delayed us by about two weeks, however we made the call to continue to Pond Inlet with the best of hopes that the snow will last just a bit longer. With a slight but steady south west wind blowing we are heading back out for our final leg.
The route that they have been recommended is one of the traditional dog sledding routes.
24 hour push
When nearing the town of Igloolik, Sarah and Eric were desperate for winds after seven days of sledge-hauling. Their weather forecast predicted a period of 24 hour winds and they decided to make use of it.
Sarah described their kite day, With our kites in the air, we started our descent off the plateau, fenced in a narrow valley following a river. The rocky hills which rose up to 800 feet on either side confined us to the valley floor. For the first section of the night, we weren't able to kite more than 30 minutes at a time.
The hills made the winds turbulent, at times blocking them completely, and the river often turned upwind. So we kited when possible, and walked or skied when the winds or terrain would not permit.
As the morning sun rose, we descended off the river onto flat terrain. However the winds were not favorable, gusting up and down forcing us to change our kite size frequently. Exhausted, we kept trying to make as many miles as possible.
The town of Igloolik was still far, and we knew these west winds would only last till this evening. We had only 24 hours of wind, none could be wasted.
They covered 400 km and reached their destination, exhausted, said Sarah. It was not the first time she and Eric kite skied 24 hours; they did it on Greenland for fun. And in 2010 Eric and Sebastian Copeland set the distance world record by kite skiing 595 km in 24 hours, also on Greenland.
This time, Sarah said, the only record to be made was the number of times they un-rolled and re-rolled their kites.
Latest position: May 28 -31, Days 74
Temperatures around -5Â°C to -15Â°C.
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