(By Correne Coetzer) On April 10, Dixie Dansercoer (Belgium) and Eric McNair-Landry (Canada) began the Greenland ICE Expedition with the goal to be the first unassisted, non-motorized team to circumnavigate the Greenland Icecap. According to their home team in Belgium, on Day 55, June 3, the kite-ski duo accomplished their goal. "Dixie and Eric called this morning, June 4, at 03:45 their time (07:45 in Belgium) to announce that they had not only completed the circumnavigation late last night, but that they continued and were at their final campsite of the expedition at Greenspeed Ridge. After 4044.9 kilometers, the Greenland ICE Expedition is over!"
Meanwhile two other expeditions are still kiting/sailing around Greenland.
Wings Over Greenland II
Michael Chavarin (France) and Cornelius Strohm (Germany) reported on June 2, Camp 41, that they have covered a total distance of 3861 km and are heading back South to Narsaq. They departed on April 19.
They reported about the latest weather and route, “The weather is once more determined by a katabatic regime, with the Greenland anticyclone pinned close to our west. We were navigating the narrow corridor avoiding its "swampy center" without wind on one side, and the more pronounced slopes towards the border of the icecap to our east on the other side. With our Speed 3 19 m2, we first ascended up to 2860 m, looping our kites most of the time, crossing the shallow ridge that extends from the summit of the icecap towards a little col and the mountains around Gunnbjorn Fjeld in the east. From there, we were tacking downwind into the large funnel dominating Kangerdlugssuaq Gletsjer, which is draining the ice towards the homonymous fjord.”
WindSled Greenland Circumnavigation
Spaniard Ramón Larramendi is known fro his trans-Antarctic expeditions and in particular for his wind-powered sled. He and a team, Hugo Svensson (Greenland), Karin Moe Bojsen (Denmark), Manuel Olivera (Spain) and Eusebio Beamonte (Spain) are currently circumnavigating Greenland on Ramon's WindSled.
The team reported on June 3 a total distance of 2,089 km covered an located at 74° 84′N, 33° 89′ W. Altitude: 9,085 ft (2,769 m). They are trapped in an area with no wind and are desperate for wind. They say the terrain is completely flat.
The team left on May 7 from near Kangerlussuaq where they were dropped on the ice to assemble the WindSled, which weighs reportedly a ton and a half. Special navigating techniques had to be learned by all the team members. When they have enough wind they work in shifts of about ten hours each, with a common break of four hours. "To sleep or nap while the sled progresses has not been easy with the rattle, but a matter of getting used to.”
The northernmost point reached was on May 23 (79° 65′N), "when the team progressed from the west to the east of the plateau having already made the decision to continue due to the complicated winds that were found in the area.""
While most of the classic 560 km horizontal crossings (east-west / west-east) are finished, the teams kiting the 2300km from the South to Qaanaaq are also closing in.
Two sisters from Sweden, Caroline and Johanna Davidsson are among them. They have started on May 4 by taking a boat to their start point near Narsaq. They reported on June 4 to have kited down the glacier and are now on ground and rock and encounter meltwater rivers. If all goes well on June 5, they will be picked up by a dog team at the end of the day.
A Norwegian team, Unnavei, with team members Tommy and Anette, has started from Narsarsuaq on April 22 and has started to go down the icecap near Qaanaaq, but deep snow made descending the icefall too dangerous. They have opted for a helicopter lift-off on June 4 instead of a dog team at the bottom of the icefall for safety reasons.
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Kite ski circumnavigation:
Eric McNair-Landry (CA) and Dix”e Dansercoer (BE)
Blog Greenland Ice Expedition
Michael Chavarin (FR) and Cornelius Strohm (DE)
Facebook Ramon Larramendi
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