Published on 06.07.2009 - Kite Greenland 2009
Having arrived at the village of Upernavik, the two Norwegians called in a helicopter to fly them back to the coast.
It was a low-key end to an adventure that the pair wanted first and foremost to be an enriching personal experience. After covering an incredible distance with their traction kites on 23rd June, when they recorded a staggering 518 km in a single day, the two men took the decision to call it a day and go home. By then they had reached the small village of Upernavik -but still too far inland to have a chopper come in and fly them out. So after resting for a day, they decided to head due west for another hundred kilometres or so to make the pickup easier.
Once they could see the first mountains and their GPS told them they were only at an altitude of 880 metres (they had descended from an altitude of 2 500 metres!), they stopped where they were (watching out for crevasses), set up camp and called in the helicopter.
What may sound a little unusual in Greenland is that tourism has now been developed right to the most remote areas of the island. See for yourself by entering a coastal village into just about any search engine and you'll find that it almost certainly has its own well-maintained website featuring an impressive list of amenities. We should also point out that following the referendum held on 25th November 2008, Greenland was given greater autonomy from 21st June 2009, with Denmark granting the island 32 additional areas of authority, including the police and justice. Greenlandic is now the official language.
Finally, the two men were picked up safely by a Bell 212 on 26th June. For anyone interested in more information about this adventure, we can report that the team has just updated its website in English. And the details of their final days on the icecap have also been published now.