Wednesday 10th of May. Our very last day out here. Or is it?
Helicopter was scheduled, and we prepared the temporary landing base by marking a 30 by 30 meter square with visible objects. A provisional windsock was made by a wind shelter liner. We have absolutely now food left, so all we had to do was to rest and wait for the heli, in the sunny weather.
However, in the evening Lars had some depressing news: the helicopter had to abort the flight due to some heave clouds near the shore.. *sigh*. We had to set camp again, and prepare for another night!
Next morning we started to feel the hunger! Yes, we had plenty of water, but no food.. We looked anxiously towards the sky and the horizons, hoping to see as much blue as possible. Partly cloudy.. Patience.. Our mentor Lars did a great job communicating with the helicopter pilot and his team. Hours went by, without knowing if the heli would make it or not.
Then finally! We could hear the sound of the engine! hurray.. ! Pilot even brought us a little snack! Safe flight over to Kulusuk:) We are extremely tired, but very happy as well! Cheers!
Cell phone perception: images!!
Piteraq, quite windy stuff! We spent most of the day preparing, and in the evening we had more than 35m/s of wind.. But our heavy snow wall along with ropes and stuff, kept us safe. Funny this type of wind, because the skies are all clear, sun is shining!
During the night, the wind direction changed. We had to reposition the snow wall etc, but everything went fine.
Heli transport is planned for tomorrow, Wednesday. Perhaps we can move bit further east before that, as the weather forecast is good.
We have not heard from the Swedes, but we have sent messages to them warning them about the Piteraq. Perhaps we can try to spot them on our way back in the heli.
Tomorrow will probably be our very last day out here! What a journey it has been!
Day 26 was another great day out here. We managed 29 kms, and we had time for some flying with the drone. We even charged phones using solar panels, so we could listen to some music.
Seems like more stormy weather is coming, so we just have to see what happens and how far east we can go. It seems that the food will run out on Wednesday 10th of May.. We hope that have made it by then.
Still discussing with the Swedes about sharing a ride, but we are maybe not sufficiently aligned.
On our 27th day on the great white ice plane, we set another record: 40kms! That is good. We even managed a little ski sailing.
However, our mentor Lars is bringing somewhat bad news regarding the weather. A Piteraq is on it´s way. Piteraq is a storm caused by the cold air running down from the top of the ice cap, towards the valleys in the east. Winds of more than 30m/s is expected. So, tonight we are securing the tent with the usual snow wall etc., something we are getting quite good at:)
Right now, we have to face the following fact: we are not going to make to the east side. We only have food for 2 more days, and tomorrow we will probably have to stay in the tent, due to the winds. We are aiming for a heli transport of some kind on Wednesday. Trying to contact the swedes again, but without any luck so far.
In the below image you can see our current position. It might be so that this is how far we made it, let´s see what tomorrow brings.
Weather is changing! Today was beautiful. Clears skies and now wind, perfect! We covered our longest distance so far, 27 kms. Finally, we can see that we are moving downhill, although it´s not really visible.
We had an encounter with a small sparrow out here today… Perhaps it´s a good sign, we are getting closer to the land.. Or are we just seeing things??
Tomorrow is looking to be just as beautiful as today. Let´s see what distance we can manage! We need a new personal best everyday now:)
Expedition day number 23 was spent inside the tent. Why? Yet another round of strong winds, 30 m/s or more. We managed to do some repair work of some gloves and stuff, and the spirit is good. However, we are very eager to move on.
On the morning of the 24th day, we had 20 m/s winds, but we decided to get on move again. After fighting the head wind all day, we managed to cover some badly needed distance before camping.
It seems that our elevation is still increasing a bit, so perhaps the actual summit is yet to come?
The days ahead will be very crucial for us. We have more than 200kms to go, and looking at the amount of food we have left, we need to cover far greater distances per day than we have managed so far. To be frank, we need a bit of luck regarding the weather.. Hope to experience some tailwind that can help us use the sail.
The Swedes that we met earlier, are not too far away. We are discussing with them a possibility to share a heli ride from the top of the icefalls at around the 10th of May. However, Lars mentions that some stormy weather (yep…) will come around those days, which might make hard for the heli to fly. So, we must keep pushing! Stay tuned…!
On our 21st day out here, we finally passed the summit point! Ironically, we made 21 kms today:) It is a bit hard to distinguish between up-hill and down-hill. Afterall, it is not very steep..
Our legs are taking a real beating now, feels like they are hit by sticks and stones, followed by cramps.
On our 22nd day we only made 5-6kms before we had to set up the tent as the winds picked up again. So, now we are stuck, waiting for the storm to pass. It seems that we have to stay in the camp tomorrow and perhaps the next day as well. *sigh*.
Well well. We are at least warm and comfy inside our sleeping bags, while the winds are howling outside the tent. Gives us plenty of time to do some writing in the diary, and a good game of tic tac toe!
Our mentor Lars is mentioning that some food rations was buried under the snow last year, 100kms ahead. With a bit of luck, perhaps we can find it and gain a few additional days.
Got on the move a bit late today, as additional work of securing the tent last night kept us up until late.
A bit windy, but the pace was good. Still a bit windy as we camp this evening.
Apart for some sore and partly swollen fingers, the spirit is good. We are treating ourselve with some candy, and we have even set up the national flag to mark labour day:) Funny thing is though, Denmark and Greenland are among the very few contries in the the world that does not have a national holiday on the 1st of May.
Below images show our position. Our elevation is currently 2379 MASL, close to the very top of the ice cap:) After summit, we hope for (and really need) some tailwind, in every sence of the word.
Our race against the east continues. Yes, it can be regarded as a bit of a race right now. We have re-scheduled our flights back home, and we are putting on our best effort. We still have to increase the dayli distance. However, due to a lot of windy weather in the area we have to be prepared to set up the tent before the winds picks up.
As for tonight (Sunday evening) we are told that a storm might come during the night. So, we are taking no risk and we are securing the tent with ropes and snow wall etc.
We really need the weather to improve as we pass the summit, which will happen tomorrow, perhaps:)
The night at the DYE radar station was cold indeed. -40 degrees celcius.
Before setting off today, we had to wait for the Americans who are practicing landings and take-offs out here with the Hercules aircraft. Of all the places in the world, this is where we are told to wait before we can continue..
The good thing however is that the Americans gave us some food in exchange for the delay: oranges, bread and toppings. We now have food until the 10th of May.
We have to discuss with our mentor Lars whether or not this is enough though. For now, we continue east and hope for the best:)
A long Walk in sunny conditions today. Despite applying sunscreen several times, we both ended up like lobsters in the end:)
Late in the evening, we reached the DYE 2 Cold War radar station. This abandoned building is really fascinating with a creepy, ghostly feel. We did some aerials of the whole station using the drone. The drone, that we luckily did NOT leave behind on the 2nd day:)
Looking to become a calm but cold night.