Posts Tagged ‘Greenland’

Meanwhile…. back at base!


I received an email this morning from Mike’s girlfriend Ruth, but she’d sent it from Mike’s account…. When I read the first sentence “Hi Kevin, Quick update now I’m back in Yorkshire….”  I have to confess that my heart missed a beat!!  My word, I thought, that was short and sweet…..!

I’m happy to report, however, that the guys are well and truly underway and the remote parts of Greenland await their patronage!

Using an Iridium 9555 satellite phone PolarIce is able to send back status reports and updates on progress.  Part of this is to do with a desire to tell all those that are interested, via this blog and elsewhere, how PolarIce is getting on and where they are, but it’s also fundamentally important from a safety aspect.  The satellite phone is their only form of communication and should there be an issue it’s vital that we check the systems and ensure that a safe evacuation can be arranged if required.  The text messages that we receive contain vital information:

1. Condition of the team

2. Current position

3. Progress & issues

4. Expected course and mileage for the following 24 hours

5. Weather report and forecast

The first sitrep came in on schedule yesterday evening at 21.39 BST and confirmed that the team are all fit and well.  They were at position 65deg 52′ 23.4″ N; 038deg 49’56.7″ W (which I’ve just plotted on Google Earth!).  Today they plan to bear 284 degrees (just north of west) and although they didn’t give too much weather information, they did state that the distance to be covered will depend on the wind!!

Although PolarIce is on  a training expedition to Greenland, they still expect to be on the ice for a month and this is all part of the major preparations that are well underway to ensure that the team has the best possible opportunity of completing the longest ever unsupported Antarctic crossing, due to get underway in December this year.

The search for a major backer is still a priority for PolarIce but the training that has been given to the team by Ronny Finsaas in Norway recently, this expedition to Greenland and the determination, fortitude and experience that this team has will surely guarantee that their aims will be fulfilled.  The research work that they will conduct, the vital repairs to equipment remotely located in Antarctica that communicates increasingly important data, and the ability to demonstrate the ability of the human body and mind to conquer all before it, are all worthwhile outcomes from the challenge on the longest unsupported crossing of Antarctica.

Should PolarIce also return with a Guinness World Record as well it would be a fitting legacy.


The Adventure begins


When people asked us over the last few months what we were doing, we generally said something along the lines of “well, we’re off to Greenland for April, but it’s only a small training exercise for the main event”.  Now that we’ve landed in Tasilaq, Greenland, and have begun properly sorting out our kit, and preparing to isolate ourselves from humanity for a month, we’re starting to understand their incredulity a little more.  Things are starting to feel real, and it’s bloody great.
Yesterday, we flew by Iceland Express to Reykjavik, and spent the afternoon chilling out in the Blue Lagoon geothermal pools.  Hardly the most adventurous start to a hardcore expedition.
But today we flew first to Kulusuk in Greenland by propeller aircraft, together with a selection of other expeditions and a couple of locals, and then on from there to Tasilaq by Bell Huey helicopter.  Tasilaq reminds us very much of Resolute in northern Canada when we were there back in 2006.  Multi-colourful wood-clad houses, sprinkled across a landscape of snow and rock around a frozen bay.  The difference here is the massive rocky peaks that fill every skyline.  We’ve spent the afternoon putting lines on and checking our Ozone kites, putting up and modifying the tent, testing our Brenig outer layer kit, and getting our solar charging and comms equipment working.  Tomorrow we pick up our Snowsled pulks and food from the post office, pack our kit, and sort out our final admin.  Wednesday we fly up to the Hann Glacier. By Wednesday night, we’re on our own.
The adventure has started.