The infernal climb
Published on 27.04.2009 - Hubert at the Humboldt
Larry Hunt and Alain Hubert reached the altitude of 800 m. The climb of the glacier was pretty difficult.
Here is their position as of Sunday April 26th, after six days of expedition: 77° 49' 55" N / 68° 28' 49" W.
Here are the few lines Alain sent to IPF yesterday: "As usual, we start our morning ritual with a long warm bubble bath followed by breakfast on the terrace with belle hill farm eggs, canadian bacon and cumberland sausages served on chinaware. We are also looking forward to the end of the day and to our two-hour oil massage..."
"Today being Sunday, we decide to give a break to our skis and to load them on Moby Dick, the sled. We travel by foot a lot as the terrain is a steady incline on an unbelievably chaotic glacier. It looks like a rough ocean with six-feet caps frozen. We had to zigzag through this terrain pulling our much less disciplined sled."
" Again, this is the kind of landscape that you normaly find at the end of the summer when melting ice water is flowing through."
Alain got angry several times as he was severely challenged to find a way through, bactracking several times to find a passage. He said that he would have never come this way had he known hom much melting had taken place.
"We pass two "moulins" (see photo) or "icemills" which are a recently discovered phenomenon: in the summer when the melting ice forms a stream and then a river, it either circulates on top of the glacier or finds a hole in the glacier through which it flows like a big vacuum, the "moulin". The flow disappears inside the glacier all the way down to the bedrock where it reappears and forms a lake. These lakes decrease the friction between the glacier and the bedrock and increases the glaciers' speed of progression."
Finally, after huge efforts and 10 hours of progression, we reach the ice cap at 2 500 feet elevation at the end of the day. The ice cap covers all of Greenland over 2 000 km in length and 600 km in width. We will find ourselves on a much smoother terrain for the next 100 km, a great reward after today. "