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Dispatches - Greenland Crossing 2014

Follow our Greenland Crossing team as they ski east to west across Greenland from April 12 - May 12, 2014. The team is being led by Róbert Þór Haraldsson from Icelandic Mountain Guides, our partners in Iceland.

The expedition is set to travel 540km/335 miles across the interior of Greenland from Ammassalik/Kulusuk on the East Coast to Sondre Stromfjord on the West Coast, the world's second biggest sheet of ice.

 © Icelandic Mountain Guides It takes about 10 days to climb up to the highest part of the Ice sheet on this route, topping off at 2500 m.  From the summit it takes about a week to get to the phantom radar station DYE 2, surely one of the most bizarre buildings on the planet that was 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 westerns side of the ice sheet.

Depending on the snow conditions and the weather the team encounters, the expedition can last from 21 - 30 days in total.

We will post occasional progress reports on this page, as well as the AC Facebook page, when we hear from the team with news. This won't be every day!

You can also check the team's position as they cross Greenland using their Spot Tracker

 Camp on the sheet ice  © Róbert Þór Haraldsson

Tuesday, May 13 - Congrats to the team on a successful crossing!

Congratulations to the Greenland Crossing Team of Róbert Þór (Expedition Leader), Bjarni, Antony and Eric.   The team completed their crossing on Saturday the 10th of May.  They are now in Kangerlussuaq and will fly from Nuuk to Iceland tomorrow where there will be a big celebration.

The team managed severe difficulties on the way including severe storms with wind up to 120 km/hr (33 m/s), extreme temp. as low as -35°C, difficult snow formations and various technical difficulties including a broken ski, ski pole and a ski-binding. Well done!

Stock photo 2012 Crossing

 DYE Station 2, a landmark during the Greenland Crossing trip.  © Róbert Þór Haraldsson Tuesday, May 6 - Team pass DYI II Station

We've just heard in from the team who, despite a broken ski, travelled 25km yesterday, passing the DYI II Station. 

Estimates are that it will take another 6 to 7 days for the team to complete their traverse which should have them there in time for the scheduled flight back home. 

The team camped last night at Lat +66.548383 Lon-46.520683.

Stock photo from 2012 Crossing

 © Róbert Þór Haraldsson Wednesday, April 30 - Team reach high plateau

We've just heard in from the Greenlad team, they have now reached the highest point of the plateau but forecasts are calling for heavy winds for the next few days so their progress may be slowed.

Stock photo from 2012 Crossing

 

 Monday, April 28 - Team continue to make good progress

Over the past few days the team have continued to make good progress, travelling on average 20kms each day.  They spent the last night at Lat+66.184816 Lon-41.897733.

Stock photo from 2012 Crossing

 © Róbert Þór Haraldsson Wednesday, April 15 to Monday, April 21 - Team batten down the hatches for a few days of stormy weather...now making good progress

On Wednesday the weather was cold and clear with a wind storm coming through which preceded heavy snowfall on Thursday.  The team stayed bunkered down in their tents.  They spent some time on Thursday constructing 2 metre high snow walls to protect themselves from heavy winds that were forecasted for Friday.   The weather cleared over the weekend and the team has made  good progress,despite Sastrugi´s, spectacular and beautiful forms that the wind makes on the snow surface, that have made travel a bit more challenging.

Stock photo from 2012 Crossing






 

 Tent camp on Greenland Ice Sheet  © Róbert Þór Haraldsson Tuesday, April 15 - The Greenland Traverse is on the way

The weather on the East coast of Greenland was slowly clearing this morning and at 13:30 the helicopter took the 5 expedition members and their sledges on a beautiful flight over the Semelik fjord and to the margin of the glacier.

In calm weather and clear sky the team skied the first 7 km before putting up the tents. They are warm and comfortable in their sleeping bags now with the outdoor temperature of -20°C / -4°F.

Stock photo from 2012 Crossing