RECORD SMASHED IN GREENLAND
End Pos 77 38'03.2N 68 14'04.4 W
After a day filled with every hardship imaginable - storms, white outs, high wind, no wind, crevasses, sheer drop offs, deep snow, tacking upwind up mountainside - At 9:30 pm local time we made it to our most northern point.
14 hours tacking upwind driven with urgency to make distance today as the forecast was for no wind assistance for days on end once this little storm blew into the artic. Armed with this information and thoughts of day’s man hauling through knee-deep snow, we pressed on harnessing every zephyr moving towards Qanaaq our end point.
The last 40 km was through multiple valleys adjacent to the enormous glacier pouring off the plateau we had just crossed. By divine intervention the clouds parted to warn me just in time before we came to grief in the poor conditions today. Multiple times it seemed we were out of wind, then a ripple would hit the big kites and we were off again. The final injustice on exhausted legs was 5 consecutive valleys where the wind angle forced us to tack upwind, up the mountain to cross the saddle into the next valley and onwards.
Reaching the waypoint for the end of our journey almost crept up on us. So focused on avoiding ice cracks and drop offs, suddenly with no fanfare we were in full view of the frozen fjord in front of us rimmed by ominous black granite mountains and we were done! Exhausted we high fived, hugged and congratulated each other. My highlight was calling Sarah and hearing the relief in her voice that all were safe and well. We walked a fine line today and I'm glad to say we are done!
This journey is significant from an Australian Polar Perspective.
We need to ratify the journey/records but we know that: 1.It’s the first Australian South to North crossing of Greenland on skis 2. The fastest south to north crossing on record (to be checked with the Norwegians) 3. Our mileage over the last 18 days set several Australian records - once again to be verified
But above all it’s a triumph of the human spirit, a reflection on how well a duo can work together when an atmosphere of respect and hard work is embraced. How a grizzly father in law and gen Y son in law can share a tent for nigh on 20 days and yet come out with even more respect for each other.
Simon has performed admirably, an absolute pleasure to adventure with. I pushed him hard, and he never came up short. This was a very tough journey and we both found our edge, learning more about ourselves in the process.