The team is happy to report that they weathered the storm well and now they are back to moderately calm conditions. They had to dig out their tents and supplies and the plan was to resurrect the third tent and possibly the group shelter for tonight.
The team reports that all is well at what is now called "Camp Storm Breaker". The wind started to pick up around 5 AM local time Saturday morning and continued to increase until it finally seemed to reach its peak. All the efforts from yesterday building a strong wind wall have paid off as the wall tis taking the brunt of the wind and their tents remain relatively unscathed.
The favorite card game of this expedition so far is Hearts, and one of the strategies of Hearts is to "shoot the moon" which basically means making calculated moves to GO FOR IT! Our team is no doubt making similar plans for when Salo, Julius and the dog teams arrive.
All over Greenland it has been unusually cold. Very cold. This has been caused by a very warm and unusual weather system that settled over the North Pole with temperatures as much as 30° above normal. This system pushed all the cold polar air south to Greenland. But you would never know this from the picture of Eric out flying a kite today in what appears to be his base layers.
Today was a beautiful day. Blue skies, cold, crisp air and plenty of time to relax and find ways to while away the time. Our group is waiting for a crucial part of the team to arrive: our two mushers, Salo and Julius, and a posse of sled dogs that will carry all their kit to the east coast of Greenland.
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.