Greenland Skiing and SnowKiting Adventures

On the Ice Cap

Sledging and Kite Skiing

16 days, May 2006

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Day 3 2006-05-13 page 3 of 13

Day #3 is freezing cold, with 40 knot head-winds. We wear face protection against both cold and sun.

Even on such a cold day we make good progress, and the temperature does not affect us much, as long as we keep moving. When we stop to rest we turn our backs to the wind, and keep our rests short.

The freezing wind is a good test of our clothing. Except for our gloves, socks and mukluks, everything we are wearing is home-made. We are very pleased that the clothing has surpassed our expectations.

Our excitement at being here is shadowed only by a slight feeling of vulnerability. We are a long ways from outside assistance, and the land offers no sustenance. Without sufficient fuel, we would be unable to melt snow for drinking water. Our survival hinges on the supplies and gear in our sleds.

Again we switch to skis in the afternoon.

Now that we have climbed the first hill, the going is somewhat easier despite the strong wind. The sleds glide over the surface more easily, but it still takes effort to drag them. The tire dragging back home prepared us well.

[^!--We joked that if it was easy, everybody would be out here doing this!--^]

The sky has filled with cirrus telling of a coming storm.

All day we have difficulty navigating without some reference point. The instant we take our eyes off of our compasses, we begin to wander off course. Behind us, our tracks look like they were made by a gigantic snake.

We soon learn use our shadows and irregularities on the snow surface to keep us on track.

At one point my skis catch on an overhanging sastruga, and I fall with a crash. Thankfully my bindings released both skis. The overhanging sastruga are everywhere. They look like steps on a flight of stairs, but because they are overhanging, the skis can get caught under them. A week ago a Norwegian was airlifted out with a back injury while snowkiting. We need a snowstorm to cover the overhanging sastruga.

The story has 13 pages. This is page 3.
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