Such tough going

Published on 25.05.2008 - Wings over Greenland

The three men have already completed two thirds of the route they intend to cover on their trip. But for the past few days they have had to negotiate fields of giant sastruggi that look more like upsized corrugated iron sheeting!

20th May was a great day of relief for the expedition. They had been waiting for the wind to start blowing for a number of days already and had, them too, had to travel during the night to take advantage of the harder surface and better ice conditions. When all of a sudden...

This is the report from that day: "A magical 30 km ride! Beautiful powder and then the rest in the torment of the sastruggi. Kited for 13 hours. Altitude 2450 metres. Wind at last! Big snowplough, cold and moderate visibility. Very tough going! Past the 1000 click mark now and virtually halfway there..."

Because it has less media coverage than other areas and so is less well known, this icecap offers a continuous and differing surface. On 24th May, the team called for an all-out war against the 'sharks of the icecap'. Translation: against the thousands of sastruggi that are making their progress so hellish.

This is the update for today: "Altitude: 2330 metres. Sign the petition against the proliferation of the sharks of the icecap! Sharks, big breakers, cheese-graters... that's what the thousands of sastruggi that stand in our way are like. Ten hours of kiting in absolutely terrible conditions. Ladies, if you want really firm legs, come kiting in Greenland!... Direct flights to Qanaaq! When the katabatic winds start blowing (around midnight), with our 50-metre lines, one mistake and we'll be blown out into orbit by our sails.... A few crash-landings! 134.60 km covered since our last contact, so now we've covered a total of 1660.60 km. ..."

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