Friday, April 4, 2014

The sled - suitcase of the polar traveller

A difficult equation - we are going to travel in full autonomy which leads to contradicting requirements: On one side we would like to carry all the necessary equipment as well as the spares to cope with repairs and unexpected failure. On the other side we would like to travel as light as possible.

This causes quite same headache! The same question for each item. May it break? The answer is unfortunately rarely comforting, and it takes endless hesitations and discussions before we come to a conclusion.

Surprisingly, with increasing experinece we are more and more tempted to double redundancy and to reduce the risque of failure or loss which might be the end of the adventure. But at the moment of departure there is always the final verdict without compromise: Will all the equipment fit in our sleds? Will we be able to haul them?

The Sled is the suitcase of the polar traveller. And when the trip gets rough and long it should better be tough.

In 2005 three Norvegions had shown that it was entirely possible to accomplish a huge kite ski crossing of Greenland using sleds of average size and of moderate cost. In 2008 we have choosen very similar equipment and were entirely happy with the performance of this economic choice.

This time, our euipment and the food we need to cover more than 5000 km in full autonomy require the use of sleds of much larger load capacity. Yet we trust in the same concept and the quality of the same british manufacturer who already equipped our last big adventures, Snowsled Polar, who are now offering a much larger version of their successful Ice blue plastic pulks.

Roger Daynes and Snowsled Polar a company specialized in polar equipment, is one of our rare long term partners and we are really proud of this reciprocal loyalty.

Each of us is equipped with 4 Ice Blue® Expedition pulks: We stack two of these sleds one inside the other. And we each use two of these stacks in a catamaran configuration. While the catamaran configuration
pioneered by the three Norvegians gives the pulks the necessary stability for progression at high speeds in terrain covered by rough sastrugi, the stacking allows for a higher load capacity and provides redundancy in the extremely unlikely case of breakage or much more likely in case of abrasion on bare ice with moraine inclusions at the very beginning and end of the journey.

New Snowsled Polar Ice Blue expedition pulk with increased load capacity.


For our big trip, we are really happy about the largely increased capacity of the new Snowsled Expedition Bags with a volume of 350 l each.

New pulk bags with a volume of 350 l.
Many thanks to Snowsled Polar for the development of the larger Ice Blue plastic pulks and for their support of our expedition!

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