Friday, May 16, 2014

Into the unknown...

15/05, camp 26
Distance toay : 148 km
Total distance : 2048 km
Position : N78.528, W56.840, alt 1940 m
Moving time : around 8 hours

... for us at least !
In 2008, while we crossed Greenland from south to north we never went over 78°N. Now we're further, leaving south west from us the village of Qaanaaq, and the small settlement of Siorapaluk (68 inhabitants, lat N77.8), the most to the north in Greenland and probably in the North-american Arctique region.

Stepping into the Knud Rasmussen land (named after the famous danish explorer), at the very North-west of the inlandsis, closes the first part of our journey (which was close to be about similar as about a dozen of other expeditions, including WOG in 2008).
This is the beginning of a world totally unknown by us.
A few ski expeditions went up there (above 78°N), crossing the whole glacier before us, like the famous norvegians Gjeldnes and Larsen, the only guys that went from the very south to the very north of Greenland (from Cape Farewell to Cape Jesup Moris).
But those expeditions haven't been many.

If we've encountered so far pretty good surface conditions compared to 2008 (when we crossed about 800km in very icy sastrugi fields), it could be very different in the next days. maybe it's because we've been skiing at a bit lower altitudes lately (below 2000m), that our "best ennemies" the sastrugis are back properly. We've had about 100km amongst them today.
The growing wind that we experience today, and the increased risk of fall  convinced us to use a smaller wing (speed 10 instead of speed 19).
On those very shaky fields, at average speeds up to 30km/h we had to be very focused today, and carve as much as possible, to avoid falling.

After about 4 hours of this "rodeo" rythm, we were happy to see Humboldt weather station, near which we set up camp for the night.

PS:
- Cornelius dedicates those first 2000 km to the little Aura, who must be widening her circumnavigations every day.
Mika dedicates those km to his miss Sylvie !
- Very warm thanks and regards to the doners of the association that we haven't yet mentionned here : Francis Baret, Matthieu Roquetaniere, Bernard et Jacqueline Charavin.
- Dear thoughts to the team Vagabond, who finishes to hibernate on the eastern coast of Baffin island :-)
- Finally warm thanks to all of you that send us messages and encouragements; this really touches us deeply : Thanks Claudine and Polo, Aurel, Eliane, Béa, Phil Deluchat, Arno, Thierry "Pif", Gilles Dreyfus, Corrado, Paul Kerrien, Georges Bagouin, Eric Brossier, Nico Sousbie, Niko and Lucile, Alain, Miss Steph Levaillant Corinne David, Florian Perrin, Pauline and Nolwenn, Pedro and Cecile, Pascal "le Queyrassin", Laurence and Luc, Ludovic LG (we'll speak about kite in Iceland if you're ok with that), and all that i could forget here...

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