Trail Dispatches

June 29, 2008
By: Tobias Thorleifsson

Ready to start the Crossing

Day 4 of the expedition
Distance traveled: 0km
Position: N 65,48.783 W 038,38.025 – Basecamp Eastcoast Greenland
Elevation: 1085 M / 3,559 ft

Due to the normal lack of winds in the daytime we are now using the nights to further develop our skills on both the ski sails and the kites. My background is with the ski sail and it is great to be on the Greenland ice cap and teach Sarah, Eric and Will the sail while I can learn to be a better kiter from Sarah and Eric. The ski sail has shorter lines than a kite; it is steered through a bar and it is very easy to control in high winds. The sail cannot replace the kite on an expedition but the two systems compliment each other. In heavy winds and bad visibility the ski sail is a better option, while the kite is superior in lighter winds.

The idea of combining the two systems was developed and perfected by Niklas Norman and Ronny Finsaas at Finse in Norway. Finse has more gusty winds than Greenland but with its large frozen lakes and close proximity to the Hardangerjokulen Glacier it is an Eldorado for kiting and ski sailing. Having tested out their systems at Finse both Norman and Finsaas have continued to conduct record breaking expeditions in Greenland and in Antarctica. For any expedition that wants to visit either Greenland or Antarctica a visit to Finse would be useful. Both systems can be learned there in very challenging conditions. On this expedition we are using sails, skiis and other equipment from Hotel Finse 1222. This is the same equipment that can be used on Finse if one wants to take a skisailing course there.

We are hoping to start our traverse tonight if the winds are favorable. It is great to be able to travel in the footsteps of Fritdjof Nansen who conducted the first crossing of Greenland in 1888 and pioneered the use of sails on the ice cap. I will write more about this in my next dispatch.

All my best,

Toby

 


This dispatch was created and posted using Dispatch 1.0 – an expedition dispatch software developed by The Will Steger Foundation and Global Warming 101 Expeditions.