East Greenland Kite Expedition: Update 15

What a day.

At 17:30, we discussed if we should camp or continue. We had been struggling the whole day. We started well, but that lasted only several km, then our kites were laying on the ground with no wind, and we had time to enjoy the view over the Watkins Mountains, thinking that we would not be going further. But the wind picked up and we managed to get a little bit further and come to the edge off a steep slope  where we could slide carefully sideways  so our sledges would not roll over. At the bottom, the winds were hurricane force, but instead of walking for half an hour, we did get the brilliant idea to put up our smallest 4m2 kites to for two people, to get away from the mountain and towards less wind.

I was attached to Hallgrímur when he was to get started. The kite went off with a blast  and Hagrímur (about 100kg, with the nickname “the refrigerator”) was lifted about  2 meters high into the air! He landed on his feet and continued struggling with three more large jumps until we had both fallen, and the tents were upside down.

After changing to larger kites, we came to ice; hard wind sculptured snow that was hardly ski-able. There, we discussed if we should camp or continue. Since our progress had not been too great, we decided to continue a while.

And here we are. 109km later, camping in the middle of a crevasse that forced us to stop. We will find a way through that in the early morning, but more on that later.

Stay tuned!

kv,

Leifur

East Greenland Kite Expedition: Update 19: The Team Reaches Isortoq!

Yesterday was an extremely long day. We woke up at 02:00am at night as the wind had picked up. Finally silk soft sailing with strong wind and light snow. Going downwind it felt calm except when we stopped then we realised how string the wind was. As the wind had died down earlier in the days before, so we sailed non-stop until noon.

Then, we had finished over 100km and we were starting to see down tot he ice-covered sea. Committed to finishing the expedition, we continued walking 35km to the coast.

Our well-earned destination, Isortoq, is a magnificently located town. Open to the glacier wind and strong storms, the sides facing the glacier are mostly worn off. At best, registered inhabitants  were 83, but as in many other places, people have been moving to the capital Tasiilaq in East Greenland, where we are going on Monday on our way back to Iceland after 1200km travel in more than a months long expedition.

kv,

 

Leifur

East Greenland Kite Expedition: Update 18

Early start with Magnificent views over Mt: Forel and the Schweitzerland massif with the sun rising behind our backs. The wind died down at 11am but still left us with 90km and 100km and with some additional struggle against changed wind direction. We are now in the Helleim Glacier area heading south with 130km to go for shore.

Early rise again for the Katabatic wind!

kv,

Leifur

East Greenland Kite Expedition: Update 17

Encouraged by the visit of a Sparrow (Icelandic: Steindepill) yesterday evening. We launched our 18m2 flysurfers with 2m/s winds. Great runs for 50km until the wind dies at 13:00. We regretfully report that our Sparrow left us on this night also, despite our efforts to feed him and keep him warm.

kv,

Skuli

 

A Sparrow joins the team on the Greenland Ice Cap for a brief time.

East Greenland Kite Expedition 2017: Update 16

It was a nice and warm day. The good thing about kiting is that the weather-bound have the best weather, that is to say, calm. In the afternoon, the wind died down  so were able to continue kiting.

Walking seemed pointless comparing with the speed, so we decided to have a welcome rest. With no wind, and a sunny and clear sky, we could undress and wash ourselves. After the cold weather last week, it felt warm in the sun, and we walked half naked  and dried the ice and humidity from our sleeping bags and outer gear. We still see the Watkins Mountains in the distance and a series of Nunataks: mountains standing out from the glacier.

This morning (18th), we started walking. The wind was strong, but we had kited into a crevasse area the night before and we thought it was safer to rope up and walk. On safe ground, we set up the kites  and had pleasant ride  in good conditions until the wind died down around lunch time.

Continuing the expedition, the journey will be split into two parts. The first part of about 350km to Mt: Forel and then about 200km to Isortoq

We have enough food and fuel, moral is high and every one of us is optimistic about moving forward.

kv

Leifur

East Greenland Kite Expedition 2017

East Greenland Kite Expedition Update 14

Today was another cold and snowy day with a complete white out and no mutable wind. We are following a new, more northerly route, attempting to get to the northerly katabatic winds of the Greenland Ice Cap asap. There was a modest 20km  of progress today, but 20km closer to the descent wind, or so we hope.

kv,

Skúli

East Greenland Kite Expedition: Update 13

There was a disappointing 30km of progress today, working through puddles of dead calm and unstable wind. Great view over the Watkins Mountains through the white-out. Migrating geese kept us company through the journey.

kv

Skúli

 

East Greenland Kite Expedition 2017
Tòmas with the 18 square metres Flight Server wrapped up on his back, changing to smaller kite.

East Greenland Kite Expedition: Update 12

Brrr, it was a cold morning. Skùli was on the kitchen shift and had to get up at 05:30 to melt snow and make breakfast for the others. In temperatures of -24°C he chose to surprise us with pancakes and bacon. It was nice to wake up with the smell but for Skùli in his thick down parka and with gloves on. It was hard work to do all this work in the entry of the tent.

Even our Mountain Equipment Iceline sleeping bags are out of there comfort rating, but they were doing well, and all of us were warm and slept well.

The day was hard. We set of from our pre-decided track and have started our long walk to the Greenland Ice Cap. We are still surrounded by mountains, following glacier-filled valleys but as we advance, and climb higher, the landscape will become flatter and with fewer mountains  standing out of the glacier  but hopefully with “Katabatic” wind that will make our progress easier.

kv

Leifur

 

East Greenland Kite Expedition

East Greenland Kite Expedition: Update 11

High hopes and large disappoint.

We really thought we were going to have a large kiting day and that the conditions were turning in our favour. The forecast was for a northerly wind that was suitable for us. Finally, after 2 weeks of travel the wind would not be in our face. We were travelling through large valleys, the snow surface  were flat and we had 10-15cm of powder snow on a hard surface. After endless stuggle, we were finally able to travel some distance in good and pleasant  conditions.

The reality turned out to be different. After 2 hours of walking this morning, the wind picked up and  and we had pleasant kiting for all of 15  minutes, travelling about 5km. The rest of the day, we kept on struggling wit very little result  in too little wind until we finally gave up and walked the last two hours of the day.

Tomorrow afternoon, it will start snowing and it is supposed to last 3-4 day. We are now planning to change our route west. Instead of going through the Watkins mountains we are aiming for the Greenland Ice Cap. Walking to there will take us about a week if we are not able to kite, but from there and to Ammassalik there could be constant wind. At least, this is what we hope for.

kv,

Leifur.

East GreenlandKite Expedition 2017

Greenland Kite Expedition: Update 10

Today is a beautiful day! Finally, things are going in our favour! We set off walking again this morning. After an hour had light wind  and managed to set up our largest kites,  at 18 square meters, with little effort. We covered 20km in one hour, stopping on the edge of the Gege Plateau where we could sled and ski  the 600m drop into the valley below. Finishing the day walking, we made between 35 and 40 km. These have been the longest days so far but still below the 50km average  that we have to keep if we are to finish this gigantic task that we have started.

Tomas had his “surprise” food bag today. We had already seen the red wine, but we did not expect the food that he would be offering. For two weeks, he has been dragging along barbecue to cook the steaks he was giving us; real eggs, bacon and sausages were there as well! This was a welcome change from the muesli we have been eating in the mornings!

I hope the boys will not be disappointed when I open my “surprise” food bag in a week from now; I am not carrying the same level of luxury as the other have brought,

kv,

Leifur