Where are Derek’s skis ?

Published on 19.05.2009 - Emirates NBD Greenland Quest

What can you do about planes that don't take off and bags that don't arrive at their destination? Not a lot, really, except wait. Which provided an opportunity for Adrian Hayes to recall some of the issues at stake surrounding his expedition.

The three expedition members, Adrian Hayes, Devon McDiarmid and Derek Crowe were in Iceland before flying off together to the south of Greenland, landing at Narsarsuaq. But there was a problem: because an Air Canada flight had been cancelled at the last minute between Montreal and Iceland (heaven only knows why), Derek Crowe's skis somehow didn't make it.

And while the trio was waiting for a helicopter to fly them to their departure point at Narsaq (which is where all of the gear for the expedition has already been in place for some -sledges, equipment, fuel, rations, etc. -about fifty kilometres from Narsarsuaq), still no-one knew where Derek's skis were. Which is pretty irritating when you're just about to trek -on skis- over 3 000 kilometres on the icecap.

But as flights are fairly regular in this part of Greenland, Hayes and his men are going ahead anyway. They were taken by scheduled helicopter flight on Sunday 17th May to Narsaq (population 2 033 -visit the Narsaq tourist office website here). Meanwhile, Derek's skis have still not arrived.

Right now, though, the trio is busy checking all of its luggage, which arrived well before them at this remote little Greenland hamlet. The expedition itself is scheduled to depart today, 20th May.

While waiting for the men to set out, the expedition website has done a comprehensive recap on the principal objectives of the adventure. It's a sporting challenge first and foremost, then it's about the issues surrounding sustainable development and global warming. "We can all play a part in creating a zero carbon society..." wrote the site on 11th May. "We can all contribute towards creating a world in which we have a zero carbon emissions society..." Sounds like they are perfectly in step with Belgium's Antarctic Princess Elisabeth station.

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