Friday, March 28, 2014

Cargo on its way to Narsaq

For our trip around Greenland we are going to bring about 180 kgs of food, fuel, and equipment each.  Too much to carry along with us on our flights there on April 14 and 15. Except for the fuel the rifle and some personal affairs most part is shipped from France. After some epic days of preparation our freight was ready to be picked up by the trucking company for road transport from Grenoble to Aalborg. Right in time before leaving to Finse for a week of kiting and recovery.

Freight, ready for pick-up by the trucking company. After road transport
from Grenoble to Aalborg it will reach Narsaq onboard the cargo ship
'Mary Arctica' from Royal Arctic. The boxes in the back contain our daily
food rations and equipment. In the front: 8 Pulks and bags from Snowsled
Polar, ready to be shipped.
We just got confirmation from Royal Arctic, that our freight has left Aalborg as planned on March 25 onboard 'Mary Arctica'. It is scheduled to arrive in Narsaq, our starting point in Greenland, on April 5.

Thanks to Royal Arctic for their help and patience in getting our stuff on its way to Narsaq!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nutrition Facts

How to pack 64 days worth of food, or 640 000 kcal and 140 kg in 1 min 31 s ?

Enjoy the Wings Over Greenland II food packing  groove:

(Music copyright P. De Ridder "Blooming Grit")

Monday, March 10, 2014

Support Wings over Greenland !

We are now back to our WOG "business as usual" after one month of intense guiding in Norway for Mika and an exclusive focus on logistical tasks for Cornelius, including the preparation of the food rations and getting the cargo on its way to Greenland. More on these two major subjects soon.

Similar to our previous expeditions, this project relies on the use of minimal resources, in line with our ethics and our vision of the expedition microcosm. But this time, our ambitious goal of 5000 km and 65 days days in full autonomy take us to a dimension that we had never reached so far.

For us who travel without financial partner and therefore with limited means, the preparation of  a such expedition is extremely costly in time, energy, but in particular on the financial level. The overall budget this endeavour is around € 60,000 (we'll tell about that in a later news) !

If adventure usually implies a physical challenge, we came to realize that this time and in our case its even more an economic one. We clearly tighten our belt and and focus our entire existence on this project to get the privilege to possibly fulfill our dreams ...

If you find our approach to this project and how we try to realize our dreams meaningful, you are still able to concretely support us by making a donation of your choice to the association "Wings over Greenland". You will find a PDF document titled "Support us , make a donation" with the bank details of the association  in the right column of the blog under "file download".

We won't forget to send you a personal message during the trip to give you the opportunity to live the expedition from inside.

Many thanks for your support!

Skis - a piece of equipment of paramount importance.

In May 2008, during our longitudinal Greenland crossing (2250 km), we very much appreciated the excellent performance of our skis: 

Movement Powpow and Gladiator in 193 cm (dimensions : 125/92/113 , radius 25 m, weight 4 kg ) .

The skis, as the majority of the equipment used during a long expedition, are critical for the success of the project. Riding at significant speeds, for many thousand kilometers and for more than two months, in sastrugies, structures of hard packed snow, sculpted by the wind is not strictly speaking, a long quiet river, neither for men or for skis : they must take unsuspected amount of shock caused by repeated, all day long, sastrugies crossing . Consequently, skis [ like pulkas and also skier's joints ] are elements subjected to major stresses.

Sastrugies : compact snow reliefs, sharped forms generated by the wind.

Their choice must therefore leave nothing to chance. However, the case is not simple : there is huge offer of skis on the market and brands are striving to cover their tracks by developing descriptions that tell everything ... and anything.

As a first step, we therefore had to be detailing what we expected from our skis and, secondly, to determine the parameters that would guide us towards an appropriate choice. 

These parameters are:
- High stability skiing in a snow often very compact (very worked by wind, snow reliefs sometimes very acute, this on hundreds of km), progression at speeds up to 60 km / h .
- We are skiing on rather " tense " trajectory (few curves, never short turns)
- Progression is primarily done on the edges (in opposition to the sail, except in very downwind trajectory) ; adds to this the need to ski 'on heel' when crossings sastrugies to avoid the risk of crash into the reliefs ground.
- We go skiing more than 10 hours a day for 2 months

We are looking for a ski that :
- that keeps a very good stability at full speed, especially on hard snow and bumps : a ski with a powerful flex [a very good twisting rigidity but also a rather good one on tips ], moderately wide (regarding the current freeride standards), long, with a large radius.
- with a very good ability to carve (a good grip on the entire length of the edges)
- with a very good longevity, a solid building (core and edges)
- twin tips (important detail to move backwards to take off the kites ; contributes to the comfort skiing in the high reliefs)
- which can accept Low Tech bidings
- weight of the pair between 4000 and 4500 gr.

A relatively complete analysis of the current european ski market led to a first selection as follows :
- Movement Trust: not real twin-tips, a radius a little bit short, pretty wide
- Volkl Mantra : real twin-tips, proper radius, not too wide
- Volkl Gotama : real twin-tips, perfect radius, pretty wide
- Scott Pure AVS: fragile tail-tip ?, good radius, pretty wide
- Kastle BMX : real twin-tips, perfect radius, not too wide
- Kastle FX94 : real twin-tips, radius a bit short, not wide
- Armada ARV Ti : real twin-tips, radius a bit short, not too wide

We finally opted for the Volkl Mantra, in 191 cm : 132 , 98, 118. Radius 28 m. Weight: 4570 gr.

A reputed brand for serious and robust construction. The titanium layer inserted in the box contributes to the excellent rigidity of the ski (the Mantra is deemed to be a " crowbar " rather reserved for "physical" skiers). Its relatively small rockers promote edge length and earned it a good grip on hard snow.

Volkl Mantra home in 191 cm : 132, 98, 118. Radius 28 m. Weight: 4570 gr.