Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wings Over Greenland 2008

We made it - our debrief

After 2 years of preparation, we sucessfully crossed the Greenland Icecap from Narsaq to Qaanaaq in a team of three: Michael Charavin, Thierry Puyfoulhoux, and Cornelius Strohm. 
Itinerary of Wings Over Greenland 2008.

 We are now back in France since some time and the expedition seems already far away. Still we only slowly realize that we actually made it. A dream has come true for us! We have crossed Greenland from south to north, 2240 km over the icecap from Qaleraligd Fjord close to Narsaq all the way up to Bowdoin Fjord and Qaanaaq. During the whole trip we only walked for 60 km - all the rest was covered using the wind with our Ozone kites and one additional skisail. Thanks to the kites we were able to cover 2215 km sea level to sea level in only 29 days and 5 h. And Narsaq to Qaanaaq in 31 days. Being lucky with our choices for the access to and the exit from the icecap, we were able to do the whole trip without further assistance, except boat transport from Narsaq to the starting point. And of course except the cup of tea offered by Lou and Mark when we met them as well as a Finnish and a German expedition at Dye 2 - it would have been a pity miss this one.

Long distance kiting is a pleasant way to travel on snow. The incredible power of the kites made us completely forget the weight of our pulks until we had to haul them again ourselves at the end. And it made us forget how far it actually is. We forgot the time: once beyond the arctic circle it was the wind that ruled our rhythm. Only when our shadow had again nearly completed a full tour of us, did we realize that an other day had passed. We enjoyed the exotic pleasure to ski directly into the huge low sun - right north of us. Or in streams of driving snow with an orange glow in the low light. Or through a white ocean of frozen waves. Or just into white clouds of an endless nothing. Or through a dream of dry powder.... 

We had a good time out there kiting! Thanks to all who made this possible for us!

Charging the boats that would bring us to Qaleraligd Fjord,
starting point. 

On the way to Qaleraligd Fjord.

Hauliong up the gear. In the background: Qaleraligd Fjord.

Ozone Acess 10 m2. In the background, the
coastal mountainsof southern Greenland.

Heading north. Our skis: Movement Powpow and Movement Gladiator.

Camp on the ice.

Good going with our Beringer Skisails.

Beringer Skisail.

Contrary to common belief, the biggest problem in Greenland,
are low rather than high winds.

Harvesting the sun. Solar power for our GPS, VHF radios,
satellite phone, cameras, video camera and MP3 players.

Take off of the mighty Yakuza in an almost non-existing breeze...

... was always a moment of tension. Figuratively and literally 

Yakuza 12 m2 on loooong lines. A majestic sight.

Lines of 40 m, 60 m, or 40 m + 60 m = 100 m ...

... on handlebars. Not everyones taste, yet I liked it.

Others preferred a good wrestle with the Skisails.

Break during a long day.

DYE II - a relic of cold war in the middle of nowhere.

There are still provisions left. Best before 1989 -  when the 
station was abandoned.

Enemy missiles anywhere? Are you still protecting us ?

The radar engineer had a last cup of coffee,
before the end of cold war. USAF technical
manual, surely a good read.

Entering "THE DOME".

More skisailing.

More Yakuza.

Midnight sun. "Deuxieme gratuit". Optical illusion.

Thierry and his Yakuza.

Michael and his Yakuza.

Sastrugi ...

... big sastrugi. Many of them. Actually 800 km of Sastrugi.


Cleaning the tent.

Ajouter une l├ęgende

Reaching Bowdoin Fjord ivolved loosing 800 vertical 
metres on grass gravel and rock.

Pulkas once on Bowdoin Fjord.