Friday, June 06, 2014

Greenland Circumnav Update: Mission Accomplished!

Earlier in the week I posted an update from Greenland that indicated that Dixie Dansercoer and Eric McNair-Landry were closing in on the finish of their Greenland Ice expedition, during which they were attempting to become the first team to circumnavigate the country by kite-ski. At the time of that I wrote that post, the boys still had more than a thousand kilometers to go before they were done, but in recent days they had picked up considerable amounts of speed, and were covering the final miles quite quickly. That proved to be an accurate assessment of their situation, as the two men wrapped up their journey on Wednesday, finishing the expedition well ahead of schedule.

If you followed the team in the early going, you probably remember that things didn't go so well at the start. After embarking on the ice, Dixie and Eric were immediately beset by storms. The bad weather made it nearly impossible for them to make any progress, and for the first two weeks of the journey, they spent more time in their tent then they did skiing.

Eventually the poor weather conditions subsided however, and they were finally able to use their kites to start knocking of longer distances. They were running a bit behind schedule however, and it appeared that they might not complete the 5000 km (3106 mile) journey in the 80 days that they had scheduled. Those fears were quickly put to rest however, as they were soon covering in excess of 100 km (62 miles) on a daily basis. At later stages of the journey, they were covering much more than that as well.

In the end, the boys covered 4044.9 km (2513.4 miles) in just 55 days. They returned to their starting point at Greenspeed Ridge on Wednesday, June 4, having completed the first full circumnavigation of Greenland. Along the way, they also managed to set a new world record for the longest arctic distance record as well, surpassing the previous record held by Adrian Hayes on Day 47.

As of now, Dixie and Eric are still waiting for extraction. The weather has to be just right for a helicopter to come pick them up, and that is expected to happen soon. The plan is to have them back home in Belgium and Canada respectively by the end of next week.

Congrats to both men on completing the expedition. Job well done!

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