#27: The end
We made it, we crossed the Greenland icecap from West to East!
Yesterday was an absolute epic of a day! We began skiing at 2am. The sky was stained orange and pink, and the air was cold with a stiff breeze (tailwind luckily!). At the exact moment we set off, the sun peeked over a small rise we were camped beneath. The light caught on the most prominent sastrugi, and our shadows danced across the bright ridges like a puppet show.
For a few hours we skied downhill, our views of the coast getting more and more grand.
After 4 sessions we stopped for breakfast in the sunshine, and got ready for the real downhill! To descend the hills we brought our sleds up beside us like we were walking a dog, and snow ploughed down, some dogs more obedient than others!
Then the real fun started! We roped up together to descend through the crevassed terrain. It was a wild ride for those of us at the back, braking for the whole team! There were a lot of slips and falls, and domino events we we would all end up on the snow and laughing.
Once through the crevasses, the end was in sight, we could see the little cove where the boat would meet us on the edge of the sea ice. Little did we know how long it would take us to get there!
We made it down to Isortoq cabin, a small little hut where the snow ends, and touched land for the first time in almost a month. This was the official end point of the expedition, so we took some photos and celebrated our arrival.
We still had a mission ahead of us, one that we didn’t quite realise would take all of the energy we had left to give. We had to get ourselves and our sleds down to the sea and out across the sea ice. We had to get all of our equipment across a section of rock, which involved partially unloading sleds and shuttling all our gear across to the next section of snow.
We then had to go down a very steep section of soft snow, lowering our sleds in front of us. Once we reached the coast line, we played leapfrog on the broken up floating chunks of ice to get out to more solid surface (or so we thought). We slipped and slushed our way over the sea ice trying to find the most solid looking route to the edge. With almost nothing left in the tank, we spotted the little boat chugging along to meet us. We stumbled to the edge, loaded our sleds on, clambered aboard and cruised away, a surreal feeling.
The small boat took us to the tiny fishing village of Isortoq, where about 50 people live.
We arrived late, and rolled out our sleeping mats on the floor of a old house, eating whatever we could find in our sleds as a makeshift dinner.
We had skied almost 64km with just two hours rest at midnight. We slept exhausted, waking up in a daze this morning, confused my the four walls around us and no sound of tents flapping in the wind.
This morning we will spend packing up our gear, consolidating all of our stuff, taking it down to the ‘shop’ to be weighed and then we take a helicopter to the town of Tasiilaq. There we will enjoy the delights of civilisation, showers, food, beds. To say we are excited is an understatement!
We did it, 27 days across the ice, our little team is triumphant!
- Latitude: 65.54805556
- Longitude: -38.97694444