SLOW GOING ON DAY 2DAY 2. May 15.
POS 61 48'43.2 N 46 32'12.6
ALTITUDE 6492 ft (climbed 3000 feet today!)
The forecast last night was pretty abysmal – no wind, then wind from the North – the way we need to go, then wet clouds from the south. The kind of start we’ve had can make you see the negative in a weather report like that. However Marc (based in Belgium) calls the wind shifts so well that we could plan out the next 24 hours based on his predictions.
After yesterdays hauling effort – a mere 3.7 km – I decided to try and avoid hauling the sled until we’ve eaten more food weight! The grind on the legs, lower back and morale I had forgotten blissfully, but it came back with a vengeance.
The small amount of wind (less than 3 knots came at 9 pm) we packed the tent quickly and lofted large kites and started the climb up towards the plateau. The wind coming from the north meant going was slow and we had to tack to make headway at all. The result was that by Midnight, well into the short night here we’d covered a humbling 8 km northwards, but actually kited over 25 km across the hard rough ice.
Tent set, we slept for a mere 3 hours then packed once again and in the cold (-10 C) morning air gained more and more altitude and distance. Kiting over 60 km but making just 45 km northwards. The angle upwind has meant that you are working the kite continually and grinding both edges hard in the snow whilst the sled weight plays havoc with legs and back. We ran the kites as hard as we could but had to break every hour to recover. The hours of dragging tyres with Jade, Nev and Tully are now really bearing fruit.
After two exhausting days and some of the toughest kiting conditions I have ever kited in, (including the Torres, Simpson, Sahara and Antarctica) we have covered a modest 52.2 km of Greenland’s Icecap. However we have learnt a lot about how we’ll need to operate to cross this incredible place. We are operating well as a team and are despite exhaustion now looking forward to a change in our winds here in Greenland.
**Dont forget to show your support for the boys and their efforts to raise money for breast cancer with the McGrath Foundation. You can donate here.
**images received out of Greenland might be slightly lower resolution due to use of satellite phone data**