Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Getting out of this hole...

8/06, camp 44
Distance today : 222 km
Total distance: 4250 km
Position : N66.853 W39.932, alt 2080 m
Moving time : 9 H 30

Are we finally gonna get out of this hole at some point ? As sailors in convergence zone we are desperately waiting for it to desolve, and surf again on our trade winds (the katabatics)... But Eole seems to be on vacation for a little longer than planned...

We've been on standbye : yesterday our weatherman Marc told us that the wind will start to pick up during the night. We woke up at 2 : nothing ; sencond try qround 4, still nothing. At 8 in the morning, we started to feel a glimpse of wind, and start to get ready. At 10 we decide it's just enough to try it. And there we go, heading south-west at speeds up to 35km/h on an amazingly smooth and flat snow. Yes, we're out of there !

We go through a 2900m high ridge, and start the descent toward a wide bassin, the accumulation zone of the giant glaciers Helmein and Fenris, which then crawl down into fjord Sermilik, about 100km further east, close by Ammassalik. Get lower in altitude leaves us with even strounger winds ; but the ground gets rougher : the sastrugies are back full power ! We need to kite with our speed 10m², in a strange tailwind situation, quiet uncomfortable 5never happy, are we ?), that requires all of our focus.

Around 8 pm, we're tired, the wind still blows a good 40 km/h drift snow and we decide to set up camp. The sun still offers crazy lights; like a piece of glowing gold on wavy milky surface. For probably the last time [we still a few minutes above the polar circle, latitude where the sun, only once a year, stays exactly on the horizon for 1 day a year, at the summer solstice], we observe the sun going down to the horizon line before to come up again. At around 150 km to our north-east stansd the summit of the Schweizerland, Mt Forel (3380m).

PS :
- Again we'd like to thank all of you that send us great support messages : Johanna and Oliv, Paul Kerrien, Remi, Loulou, Aurel, Florian Perrin, Georges Bagouin, Roger Snowsled Polar Ltd. 5pulks perfectly survive), Gilles Dreyfus, XD's mom, Peter Van der Linden, Cathy from Alixa, Laurent Sénéchal, Phil Deluchat, and all the others... Thanks to our "postguys" Rom and Laurent.
- Special thanks to our kite friends, specially  Francis, Thierry, Jean, Valère, Jojo Civel, R'mi, Alex and the others from the Hautes-Alpes ; and to the Grenoblois, and other kiters that follow us in this adventure...

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