Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Veteran Polar Explores Attempting Circumnavigation Of Greenland This Spring

Two veteran polar explorers have joined forces on what promises to be an incredibly long and touch expedition this spring. Belgian adventurer Dixie Dansercoer and Canadian Eric McNair-Landry are preparing to set out on an epic attempt to kite-ski around Greenland, covering some 5000 km (3106 miles) in the process. The expedition is expected to take roughly 80 days to complete, and if successful, the team will set a new world record in the process.

The two men are calling their project the Greenland Ice Expedition 2014. At the moment, they are in Tasiilaq, Greenland, where they are hoping to get underway soon. Bad weather continues to delay their start however, so it could be a few days before they actually head out to the ice. Flights to the ice cap where they will begin their journey have been grounded, but weather reports say things should improve by the end of the week.

Once they are cleared to start, the men will set off from a point called Green-speed Ridge. They'll travel in a clockwise direction, first heading south along the east coast of Greenland until they round the southernmost point of the country. From there, they'll turn north, and if everything goes as expected, they'll eventually circle back around to their starting point once again. There will be a lot of challenges to overcome along the way of course, with ice conditions playing a major role, as well as weather. But they feel that barring any unexpected surprises, they can indeed wrap up the expedition in 80 days, provided the winds cooperate.

Neither Dixie, nor Eric, are strangers to kite-skiing in arctic conditions. Back in 2011 Dixie skied an impressive 5013 km across the Antarctic with Sam Deltour, covering that distance in just 74 days. That same year, Eric traveled 3620 km in 81 days, completing a traverse of the Antarctic with Sebastian Copeland. Both expeditions were accomplished through the use of kiting. That experience will serve them well this time out too, although conditions in Greenland are likely to be very different than in the Antarctic, especially since they'll be hugging the coastline for most of the journey.

You'll be able to follow the team's progress on their official website, and through social media on Facebook and Twitter.

Good luck boys!

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