Day 22 - Final Push
The reward of a thing well done is having done it. Ralph Waldo Emerson
54 kilometres were added to the final tally of our Greenland snow-kite expedition yesterday, resulting in a bittersweet finish to a remarkable accomplishment by Cordula, Lorenz, Matthieu and of course, Dixie.
Their final camp of the expedition is:
N 73 01 23
W 53 17 37
Dixie shared his account of their admirable advancement:
The day started off beautiful but with too much wind to kite safely, so I asked our team to remain on stand-by. At 09:30 we prepared for departure and our initial choice of the 6 metre kite proved to be the right one. It was a bit of a rodeo to get everyone in sync, but before too long we got it right.
Our azimuth was 312 degrees which meant a very broad reach whereby the kites asked to power up even more. It is incredible how cumulative speed is with power kites. The kites doubled our efforts as we kept turning sinuses and loopings.
We covered 40 kilometres in the first 1.5 hours, but then we entered a spooky zone of low-hanging clouds. It was as if we entered a new mysterious world, one full of blue ice patches interconnected by thin lines of snowdrifts. Puzzling our way through this maze (safely!) with sleds sliding uncontrollably in all directions was a true accomplishment.
The visibility deteriorated even further and we picked our way along with minimal visual guidance. I asked everyone to stay in one line as the terrain progressed from turbulent bumps to an intricate crevasse field. On the other side of this final challenge, and after consultation with the whole team, we decided together that we had found our final camping spot of this incredibly challenging but oh-so-magnificent expedition.
The team is spending this Sunday in full preparation for their scheduled helicopter pickup out of Upernavik tomorrow. Equipment needs to be cleaned, dried and packed carefully into the sleds for their transport via two expected helicopter rotations. All of this is of course weather dependent, but the forecast for tomorrow looks good.
Even though the participants did not reach their original goal of Qaanaaq, Dixie is celebrating the many other accomplishments that they achieved during their 22 day expedition. He is incredibly proud of the determined resilience that Cordula, Lorenz and Matthieu have demonstrated throughout their adventure and is eager to debrief with them once they settle in Upernavik.
For now, the expedition continues until the safe helicopter transport is completed. We wish our entire team a memorable final day and night on the pristine Greenland Ice Cap.
For more information, please visit to the following links:
Expeditions Unlimited (French & English):
*includes tracking via LiveExplorer:
Matthieu Tordeur (French):