Using large power kites to assist their trek across Greenland, a team of three adventurers completed a 4,262 km journey yesterday when they arrived at their finish point at the head of MacCormick Fiord near Qaanaq, Greenland, late Saturday night, July 25, 2009.
Devon McDiarmid and Derek Crowe of Whitehorse in the Yukon, as well as British team leader Adrian Hayes were sponsored by Emirates NBD, the largest financial institution in Dubai. Adrian Hayes works in Dubai and arranged the sponsorship for the amazing expeditions.
The adventurers have a detailed web site outlining the expedition's route, goals, equipment, route and purpose. A blog details some of their adventure as well as the tough work it took to make the trek.
Using the power of the wind to kite ski and haul 150kg sleds for 2 months over what turned out to be a 4,200+ km route that had never been done before. It is possible that the Emirates NBD Greenland Quest is the longest unassisted Arctic Polar journey in history to date.
The group made numerous scientific observations and were concerned with assessing the sustainability of the Arctic ecosystem on Greenland.
The adventureres made a statement on their site that outlines their elation at the conclusion of the trek:
"We've made it! After 67 days and 4262 kms, at 1030 pm Greenland time 25/7, 0030 GMT and, 0430 UAE (26?/7) we arrived at the head of MacCormick Fjord, near to Qaanaq.. Mission accomplished! We're delighted - and can't quite believe its over....
It took 13 hours to cover the final 10-12 kms- the slowest 10km race any of us have ever taken but then the others weren't hauling two sleds over down and around a mountain! If it wasn't so hard it would have been laughable. The sleds - designed to glide on ice - didn't enjoy crashing over rocks quite so much and were totally trashed by the end. No choice unfortunately, its the only way off the ice cap.
But whilst the sleds arrived a little worse for wear, we've arrived safe and well. And healthy..... "
The journey and the use of kites makes for interesting reading on their web site and in the following news articles:
- Emirates NBD Greenland Quest official web site.
- CBC: Yukon adventurers complete trek across Greenland.
- Gulfnews.com: Dubai-based explorer Hayes and team complete Greenland quest.