Summitting the plateau

Published on 29.04.2009 - Hubert at the Humboldt

"Finally, mid afternoon, the wind stops as quickly as it had started. It's a great relief for our ears."

Their position yesterday : 78° 03' 39" N / 68°15' 49" W.

From the field (Larry Hunt's diary) : The wind is still blowing hard when we wake up. It is hell when you are outside but sweet when we are inside. We get our reward staying in bed most of the day, catching up on conversations... and reading a great inspiring book that a friend and my daughter Alexandra has recommended: "3 cups of tea" by Greg Mortenson. The story is about building schools in remote regions of Pakistan.

Finally, mid afternoon, the wind stops as quickly as it had started. It's a great relief for the ears. We decide to head for the summit. The "summit" is kind of a joke as on this enormous icecap covering the whole of Greenland, it is like finding the highest point of my french friend's baldy head.

We leave around 4 and trek for 6 hours on a very slow incline, hardly noticeable at the end. Thanks to our altimeter and GPS, we find that we have reached the highest point of our trek, 1 400m (4 500ft), and crossed the 78th degree North.

We will celebrate tonight by opening a box of Choco Prince cookies, the only thing I could find in the Qaanaak store to replace the festive items lost in my suitcase.

The view here is incredible: a relatively flat ice terrain 360 degrees around us with nothing else in sight. As we set up camp, we hear and see a tiny plane in the sky, the first sign of civilization in a few days. Without thinking, I start waving both arms at him like a lost soul on a desert island...

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