Wohoo! Our Greenland crossing team left Kangerlussuaq this morning and took a helicopter shuttle to their starting point on the icecap. The flight took 25-30 minutes and they are now well positioned beyond the crevasse zone and are awaiting the arrival of Salo and Julius, the two mushers from the east coast of Greenland who will be joining the team along with a lively posse of sled dogs.
Today's update from our Greenland team is that poor weather prevented the team from flying from Kangerlussuaq to the icecap as previously planned. They were in standby mode most of the day which ultimately means that you can't do anything but wait, and stay close, for the possibility to fly.
The Greenland Icecap Crossing team (Dr. Heather Ross, Dale Shippam, Ian Clarke and John Gluckman with guides Eric Lillstrom and Taylor Sweitzer) are eagerly awaiting their departure from Kangerlussuaq via helicopter to dog camp on the Greenland Icecap tomorrow. They have sorted their kit, packed their food, determined their tenting configuration and can't wait to strap on their skis and go!
Happy Birthday, Peter! Today was quite the epic end to their journey...
The team woke up in their cabins and enjoyed a nice breakfast, working at finishing off all the food they have left (not too hard of a task). They took turns on bear watch from the roof of one of the cabins throughout the morning.
The team skied 19 km today, first across the glacial plateau, then descending 900 m to sea level. There were some fairly steep drops on the downhill with the sleds penduluming behind them even with the brakes on. This can make for rather a wild ride but everyone stayed in control and did very well.
The team encountered some adverse conditions during the first full day of skiing today. Several of the guys slept cold which makes a challenging day that much harder. The weather conditions were beautiful for skiing (clear skies and a little breezy) but the terrain presented a never-ending gentle uphill slope.
The Svalbard Ski Expedition has finally begun! After a delayed flight (due to a medical emergency on board) the team gathered in Longyearbyen and sorted out all of their equipment. When we heard from them, everyone had just had dinner together and went over the expedition itinerary.
The Last Degree Ski team is getting a well deserved day of rest after their epic push to The Pole yesterday. This morning, they were picked up from their camping spot near the North Pole, and taken to the Barneo Ice Camp which provides logistical support for all of the expedition teams. They will spend the night there and plan to fly back to Longyearbyen tomorrow. In the mean time, the team will rest, celebrate, and mingle with the staff and other visitors at Barneo. Places like this often attract some very interesting people from all over the globe and our team will only add to the exciting mix. Stay tuned for an update from the team tomorrow once they have their feet firmly planted back on solid ground.
Photo sent from Keith team camped at the Geographic North Pole.