22/05, camp 32
Distance today : 82 km
Total distance : 2796 km
Position : N78.654 W32.088, alt 1775 m
Moving time : 7 hours (with the Speed4 10)
... for this lttle wheatear. He might have come from the warm western africa to find his nesting place in the northern arctique area, as he does every spring. Powered by its survival instinct this animal went flying over the glaceir cap. Unfortunataley the wind consumed all of its forces ; the bird landed to collect some strnght back, and never took off again. It's here, standing on its feet, frozen forever. By coincidence our paths meet here on the ice.
Our migration takes us now through the land of King Frederik VIII. The progression is hard because of the heavy and very unfriendly sastrugies fields. The glacier cap looks like a newly furrowed ground, or like a frozen rippled field.
We have to either ski following the "swells", up and down, or slaloming through them trying to find the smoother possible. In those conditions we're not downcoting the kilometers fast enough, and we are prepared to encounter similar grounds for another few hundreds of kilometers. Today we passed the latitude of Ny-Alesund (N78.55), Spitzbergen.
So far we haven't mentionned in our daily reports a quiet important fact : 2 other teams are thrown into the same challenge as ours : trying the first ever circumnavigation of the Grenland inlandsis ! They're only a couple of hundreds of kilometers from us ; All our best regards to them :
- the belgo-canadian team : 2 quiet famous persons amongst the polar expeditions, Dixie Dansercoer and Eric Mac Nair Landry. They're also on kite-skis.They left around 10 days before us after being dropped with a helicopter on the south-east coast of the glacier, in Ammassalik area. They are now about 300km in our south-west. Dixie is the world recordman of the amount of kilometers done in a kite-skis expedition (5013 km in 74 days in Antartica, with Sam Deltour) ; Eric broke another record : the amount of kilometers kited in 24 hours (602 km, during a south-north crossing of Greenland, with Sebastien Capland).
- the spanish team (5 persons) led by a glacier "veteran", who has an unbeatable knowledgeof the inlandsis and wind powered expeditions, Ramon Larramendi. They started on the west coast (airplane drop off) about 2 weeks after us ; they're now a few hundreds of kilometers to our west. This team travels aboard an extraordinary "glacier vessel" made of 2 big sleds tied together, pulled by an impressive wing surface. Being 5 they certainly intend to travel without stopping much, working around the clock...
Back to us, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to a bunch of people :
First of all, thanks you Rom "the postman" who makes sure we get your messages.
Also, thank you all that are commenting and giving some news, follow our progression and daily stories, support us. Here, far from all, in our daily routine of moving as many kilometers forward, your messages are a huge incentive.
Thank you Cécile and Pedro, Joh and Oliv from Carnet d'Aventure, Sophie (for the alpine sunshine, greetings to all of the "castelroussins"), Clara, Jo (good luck on the bike trip, friend), Sébastien Carrière (and the poppy fields), Thierry (we're full on ;-)), Steph Favaretto (excellent message, rgeat final bit - the frier :-)), Gilles (that helps us form far away), Alain (see you in Iceland this summer maybe) and Julien, Sophie "Larzac", Phil, Jaak "Liverpool land 2010", Corinne "football fan", Pascal the Queyrassin, our friend Jean "we won't give up", Laurent from "le vieux campeur" Grenoble, Clotilde, Birdy Kynook, Blablablog, Bertrand "glides in the way down", Florian for his great analysis of the situation... We don't forget Sylvie, Laurent, Thomas, Rom and LN, Rémi (our great team), and probably forget many (please forgive us)...