Friday, June 13, 2014
Room with a view
Distance today: 174 km
Total distance: 4730 km
Position: 62.9393 N 43.8304 W, alt 2200 m
Hours kited: 12 h
We set off early a little north of the latitude of Nansens Bugt, where Nansen finally landed after a perilous journey across drift and pack ice. We must have crossed the 'tracks' of his historic east west crossing during our first kilometers, tacking down light tailwinds with our Speed 3 19 m2.
Very soon, we got a first glance at three marked peaks playing hide and seek with the ethernal succession of small depressions and terasses, that we were navigating across. We likely saw the Treforken, dominating Thors Land, Skoldungen and Kong Skjolds Land with their altitude of 2150 m.
We were already excited, not yet suspecting the spectacular views, our journey along Kong Frederik VI Kyst would still have to offer. We soon got panoramic views of Lokes Nunatakker separating the glaciers of Rimfaxe and Guldfaxe and Skirners Bjerge extending towards the east coast. There were heavily glaciated rocks and sharp peaks separated by huge glaciers and icy domes, and we were wondering how many of them have ever been climbed or skied.
For a long time we only had seen the light blue milky skies typical for the large extended ice surface and the far north. Today we enjoyed a dark blue sky with marked stratospheric clouds and sharp lenticularis over the coastal mountains, indicating very high winds at altitude. Stratocumuli started to overtake at considerable speed, and suddenly, the light northerly breeze strengthened to a point that we had to hurry to take down our 19 m2 kites in time after about 80 km. The temperatures were mild, and the sun powerful enough to melt the first centimeters of the snow, not unpleasant after 55 days of predominantly hard surfaces.
We continued with the Speed 4 10 m2. When crossing the drainage basin of Heimdal Gletscher, a succession of huge crevasses apeared along our intended heading. They were well bridged, but we did not take chances and navigated around them, while enjoying a full Mountain panorama to our east. Progress was excellent, until we hit the gigantic, nameless basin draining the icecap towards Tingmiarmiut Fjord. Its slopes are heavily crevassed, and in the center, there were seracs, where the ice is flowing over the mountains and bedrock below. We had to move our route a little more westwards to avoid the dangers that come with this majestc view. In the end we avoided any difficulties and only crossed one tiny bridged crevasse.
The sky got more covered, leaving us without contrast and a surface that quickly got iced and crusted again. We set camp after 174 km with an incredible view down the drainage basin towards Tingmiarmiut Fjord. Framed by the majestic mountains to the left and the right, we can see the pack ice in the Fjord, the islands of Ingmikortukajik and Uvtorsiutit, and very far to the horizon we even distinguish the almost black sea. Room with a view!
We are again below the latitude of the southermost point of Iceland. Once more bye bye Laurent ...
Posted by cornelius strohm at 6:30 AM