GC2012 – better skiing conditions!

Date: 2nd May | Location: Greenland ice sheet | Weather: Sunny and litle wind, a bit cold

2/5 22:10 (GMT) The team has had two pretty good days in a row with decent sunny weather. Still, it was quite cold today, -15°C at noon (last night it was -26°C, brrrr). The wind was only around 5 m/s but that means face masks in this cold.

The skiing conditions are better now, the snow is getting more even. They did 18 km yesterday and 16,3 km today. Now they have done 202 km total and have about 340 km left. The elevation now is 2370m.



Good skiing conditions!
Good skiing conditions!

GC2012 – brief visit by a small bird!

Date: 30th April | Location: Greenland ice sheet | Weather: no wind and good visibility

30/4 22:52 (GMT) No wind yesterday but it was snowing a bit. So today it was hard to drag the pulkas. At noon today the wind got a lot stronger. Tonight when Róbert called there was no wind and good visibility.

They did 16,5 km yesterday and 14 km today. The elevation is 2213m so they only have about 250 vertical meters left to the highest point. After they reach the highest point the fall-wind should stop teasing them. They also start to go downwards instead of upwards so the speed will go up. They have now done 170 km total.

In the evenings they have been enjoying beautiful sunsets despite the wind. Today they were briefly visited by a small bird. It obviously didn´t like them very much since it flew off right away.



Beautifull Night Sky
Beautifull night sky

GC2012 – footprints of a fox!

Date: 28th April | Location: Greenland ice sheet | Weather: windy and snowing with bad visibility

Cooking in a warm tent
Cooking in a warm tent

28/04 23:32 (GMT): Last two days have been slow. There are lot´s of sastrugis around that make it hard to drag the heavy pulkas forward. The weather has been sup-optimal to say the least, windy and snowing and the visibility bad. Cause of the wind they’ve been using the tarp when they take breaks. The temperature was high yesterday, up to 1°C when it was snowing, colder today and down to -16°C this evening.

It looks like the weather might be a challenge for a bit longer. The winds are predicted to be high tomorrow with some snow fall. Less wind on Monday but it might be snowing even more. Let´s see how that goes.

The team did 14,3 km yesterday and 14,2 km today. The elevation now is 2068m and they have done 139 km total so about 400 km left to go.

They are obviously not alone up there. Róbert said they saw footprints of a fox in the snow today.


GC2012 – 2 meters of snow!

Date: 26th April | Location: Greenland ice sheet | Weather: windy and snowing quite a bit

26/4 23:11 (GMT) Yesterday the team got caught in a bad weather ( > 15 m/s) and had to stay put for the day. It was snowing a lot and they had to spend most of the day clearing snow off the tents. The morning after they had to dig out the skis (that stood upright) since it had snowed a lot and there were more than two meters around the tents and everything was covered. After this there are big sastrugis all over that will probably slow them down for a while.

After the 0 km day they had a good one today and did 15,4 km even though it was hard to pull the load in the demanding conditions after the heavy snowfall. The visibility was very bad until noon and after that they could see the sun every now and then.

When in night camp on the 26th they had done 109 km total and the altitude is 1890m.


GC2012 – Hugh’s birthday

Date: 24th April | Location: Greenland ice sheet | Weather: Good skiing conditions and clear skies

24/4 15:57 (GMT): The team is going about 18km each day now, a good pace. It´s been cloudy and a bit windy lately but now it´s better. The sky is clear again and the temperature has gone up. In the nights the temp is about -20°C and about -10°C when they are getting up in the morning. Around noon today the temp was around 0°C, pretty nice.

Yesterday they celebrated Hugh’s birthday with balloons and a cake and had bacon with the dinner as a special treat 🙂



Update 25/4 : Due to bad weather conditions, the team will stay put in the camp today


Hugh's birthday
Hugh’s birthday

GC2012 – steady progress!

Date: 21st April | Location: Greenland ice sheet | Weather: Good skiing conditions and a blue sunny sky

21/4 22:16 (GMT): In the latest call from Róbert and his team, he said that things are going very well. They still have good skiing conditions and sunny but cold weather (-25°C). They skied 15,2 km yesterday and 16,1 today.


Update: Night camp 22nd og April added.

GC2012 – early start on the Hahn glacier!

19/4 22:56 (GMT): Since everything was ready and the helecopter available the expedition decided to take advantage of the good conditions and set out a day earlyer than planned. After arriving up on Hahn glacier they skied from 14:30-17:30 and made about 10 km. Excellent snow conditions with superb blues skies! A bit of cold was bothering some members of the team but hopfully nothing that will increase.


Update: Night camp 20th april added.



GC2012 – the expedition begins!

Date: 17th & 18th April | Location: Reykjavík – Kulusuk – Tasiilaq | Weather: Bright and Sunny

Expedition members arrived in sunny Reykjavík on April 16th and had a gear prep meeting with the leader the same afternoon. After some repacking with a lot of thoughts about the stuff to take along and the stuff to leave behind they went to the domestic airport and boarded the plane for Kulusuk. Now the Expediton is finally real and the waiting is over. Once in Kulusuk – a lively Inuit village, a helicopter will take them to the metropolis of the Angmassalik area, Tasiilaq where the final gear prep takes place.


Map of the Progress

GC2012 – the 7th expedition IMG leeds over the Greenland ice sheet:

The course is set to cross Greenland Glacier from Ammassalik/Kulusuk on the East Coast to Sondre Stromfjord on the West Coast. From Tasiilaq expedition members will be flown by helicopter onto the Hahn-glacier at about 900 meters (2700 feet) altitude, where the skis will take over for the next 540 km (335 miles) or so. From Hahn glacier it takes about 10 days to climb up to the highest part of the Ice sheet on this route, topping off at 2500 m. Then it takes about a week to get from the summit to the phantom radar station DYE 2, surely one of the most bizarre buildings on the planet (used to monitor the Russians during the Cold War). From this strange place it takes from around 5 days to get to Terra firma – Hill 660, the landfall on the western side of the ice sheet.

The Guide:

Róbert Þór, the expedition leader, is one of Icelandic Mountain Guides most experienced guides. He has been with the company for over a decade and led many of IMG’s most demanding hiking and backpacking tours. His latest this winter was a 9 members cross country ski expediton over Sprengisandur-Center Iceland, from the north to the south.


More about Robert Thor


Technical information:

Start of journey: Reykjavík, Iceland April 18th
End of journey: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, May 18th +/- 3 to 7 days
Expedition Size: 4
Cross country skiing: 4 to 5 weeks polar expedition
Walking per day: 6 to 8 active hours
Total distance: 540 kilometers (335 miles)
Altitude: 0/900 – 2.500 meters above sea level (0/2.950 – 8.200 feet)
Max elevation one day: 250 m (820 feet)
Duration: 4-5 weeks