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HA June

Coverage in "Hamar Arbeiderblad" June.

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HA May

Coverage in "Hamar Arbeiderblad" May 14.

Gear shipping

After a rather chaotic morning Saskia and I left The Boldinghs Inn, heading for Denmark...

Packing our gear

Late in the evening friday 9/6; Ingrid and Silje came to Saskia’s parents house close to Hamar...

Ranablad april

Fredag 4. april hadde Ranablad ein reportasje om ekspedisjonen vår

Drevvatn mars

Friday the 7th of march we met in Drevvatn, Silje's hometown. This weekend we will stay at Haaland's in, to spend heaps of money on gear and afterwards mekke det i stykker?:)

Øvingshelg mars

Våknet i dag på Vassendsætra. I går kitet vi over Gjevilvatnet, i dag skulle vi tilbake, veldig rundt regna 1,5 mil. Titter ut, været er perfekt...

Finse januar

01.01.08 dro tre jenter fra nyttårs-sus og rus opp til snaufjellet. På Finse ramlet vi av toget med telt, ski, kiter, skiseil, mat og alt som skal til for en uke på fjellet...

Diary

Daily update from our 33 days on the ice

Background for this expedition

In 2006, while killing time in the tent, a crazy idea popped into the minds of three girls: they wanted to cross the icecap of Greenland, utilizing the power from the wind.

The tought seemed unrealistic, and the girls were giggling about the idea at first. But two years later they found themselves at Finse. The tickets were booked and they were well into the planning.

June 2008, we, Saskia, Silje and Ingrid, will fullfill our dream: kite across Greenland.

On this site we will tell you about our plan and update you on our progression before and during the expedition. You will also find amazing photos from three girls just doing what they dreamed two years ago.

The Expedition

16th of June our journey begins. On this day we depart Norway heading for Greenland and Narssaq. There we will hopefully find our gear and then spend a couple of days making sure every last detail is as it should be. Around the 19th we will travel by boat to our starting point in the bottom of Qaleragdlit ima. We will climb the Qaleragdlit glacier to reach the plateau where we can start flying our kites!

From start to endpoint it is 2500 km and we are planning to use between 30 and 40 days on our crossing. The plan is to descend just north of Thule and from there be picked up by boat to get into "town". From here Greenlands ?melkerute? slowly takes us back to Norway, home sweet home, shower, hot shower.

Almost at the beginning!

We have started the countdown for our departure for Greenland; there is now one week left before we leave Norway. Silje has one exam left in Tromsø, Saskia is just finishing her article on altitude sickness in Belgium and Ingrid in Trondheim has begun her last week of work. We are still waiting for some paperwork to show up, one of our kites is travelling with postman Pat somewhere in Norway and how are we doing with that lunch? Of course everything is under control.... Trying to focus on other things, like exams, is quite hard at the moment.

Even if we shipped our gear long time ago, there is still a “thousand little things” to organize before we leave.

During the expedition this site will be updated with thrilling stories from our little adventure, so stay tuned…

Diary

Date: 2008-07-25
Location: Ilulissat
This will be the last words from these hands for this time. The writer will go out in vacation, and the next update, included pictures, will be from the girls themselves when they safely have put their legs at Norwegian soil. I quote the last sms received from them: "In three days we have covered 9 degrees southward, and have put up hour tent in Ilulissat at 69 degrees north. We can not understand why we did not travel in this way northward. Anyhow, this must be calibrated: We finally have found a village included restaurants. The only problem is that we are nervous for not managing to eat with a fork and knife and chew our food ourselves (read: they have lived on freeze-dried food for a month). Finally, all the fans can show up at Gardermoen 10:05 July 28."


Date: 2008-07-24
Location: Ilulissat
A long story told in short: The girls are now in Ilulissat, waiting for a flight on Sunday 27 to Copenhagen. They still do not know how to get from Copenhagen to Gardermoen, but as I understand, that is a much easier problem to solve than the Greenland-to-Denmark-logistics. To the three Norwegian guys, that completed the same expedition at approximately the same time this year, the girls would like to say thanks for the pack of cards you left behind in Qaanaaq. Very thoughtful. (Read: internal joke). As the Greenland salesman the writer has become, he has found a picture of Ilulissat that you find below, also from Wikipedia.

rute
Ref: www.wikipedia.com


Date: 2008-07-23
Location: Upernavik
The airplane mentioned in yesterday's report, which was going to bring the "kiters" back to the continent, made a detour via Upernavik. From there to Copenhagen the plain was unfortunately full, and the girls are now forced to spend one week in Upernavik as tourists. The writer took a quick search on Wikipedia, and found a nice picture of Upernavik (see below). The undersigned thought they overstated when the girls reported of putting up their tent 50 m from the run way and 50 m from the village, but the picture support their claim. In other words, the fans will have to wait till next Wednesday before we can show up at Gardermoen.

rute
Ref: www.wikipedia.com


Dato: 2008-07-22
Lat/Long: Qaanaaq
Distanse dag: 0 km
Distanse total: 2263 km
After one night by the Bowdoin fiord, they were transported by boat to Qaanaaq. As they reported, they had just taken a shower and started to pack out and dry their gear. The weekly transport from Qaanaaq to Copenhagen leaves tomorrow the 23rd at 13:00 local time. If they are able to get control over all the equipment within that time limit, they will start their return to Norway then. If not, they will have to do sightseeing in Qaanaaq till next Wednesday.

rute
Ref: Google Earth


Dato: 2008-07-21
Lat/Long: 77N*42,05m 69W*27,29m
Distanse dag: 8,4 km
Distanse total: 2263 km
They've made it! 02:20 local time they reported of sitting in the tent at 0 metres above sea level by the Bowdoin fiord. All that is left now is to call the contact person in the nearest village, Qaanaaq, and ask for a ride to civilization on his boat.


Dato: 2008-07-20
Lat/Long: 77N*43,28m 69W*06,82m
Distanse dag: 1,7 km
Distanse total: More than 2255 km
The girls have left the glacier! It was sleeting in the morning, but visibility was good enough to navigate down on the western side of the glacier. They only had to cross two small rivers and climb over a morainal side ridge. As the pulkas are hard to pull over the rock, they have been carrying the gear, witch now weigh in total 70 kg, piece by piece down to their new camp site on moss 73 metres above sea level. They can report of the wonderful smell of rainy grass, and can see no obstacles preventing them from getting down to the sea tomorrow.


Dato: 2008-07-19
Lat/Long: 77N*43,31m 69W*02,54m
Distanse dag: 2 km
Distanse total: 2253 km
The girls set out with high hopes of success this day, but they should soon see that the final descending was going to be harder than expected. Shortly told, they put up their tent approximately at the same coordinates as yesterday.

Is was raining hard all day as they went back and forth, trying to find a path down on the eastern side of the glacier. Rivers of melting water blocked their way time after time. To cross some of the rivers they had to secure their way over. In some they were wading with the water almost up to their hips (probably Silje\'s hips). After several hours of aquatics, they managed to get down from the glacier, but unfortunately they had to return because of too big rivers. As they could not descend further on the eastern side, they headed back to their camping spot that they had left in the morning. Tomorrow they will try the western side of the glacier, hoping that the rivers don\'t stop them on that side.

Not only is the glacier flooded with water. Their pulkas are accumulating water due to the intense rain. In Saskia\'s pulka, named \"the lump\", they measured 6 cm of water at the end of the day. Silje\'s pulka, named \"the monster\", is also flooded and alleged has got a banana shape after one month on the ice. Ingrid\'s pulka is the one in best shape - it fortunately has a drainage hole in the back, so the water runs out there.

As they reported, they were yet another time drying gear in the tent, and they were also very anxious about if they are able to get down from the glacier on the western side. We look forward to hear from them.


Dato: 2008-07-18
Lat/Long: 77N*44,38m 69W*02,29m
Distanse dag: 14,5 km
Distanse total: 2251 km
14,5 hard working kilometres, they report. Even though they are descending, all the crossing glacial rivers and all the ups and down over the buckling ice breaks the progress. At lunch they saw stone for the first time in 29 days. A morainal ridge stretched out towards them, and they jumped down on the rounded stones together, like a symbolic act for seeing the first hint of glacial deposits – the finish line markings.

They are only a few kilometres from the fiord now, and they are getting really exited about the thought of actually completing this adventure. They hope to be able to make it tomorrow the 19th, but are unsure of the time consumption of dragging the pulkas over stone (the friction coefficient is slightly greater for plastic vs. stone compared to plastic vs. snow/ice).

rute



Dato: 2008-07-17
Lat/Long: 77N*52,00m 68W*59,60m
Distanse dag: 68,1 km
Distanse total: 2236 km
2236 km out of 2400 km. Only the finish to go. With the same procedure as yesterday, they started early in the morning, still struggling almost head on to the southern wind with sleet beating they faces. They hoped for visibility, but got white-out once again. As they descended, they got a glimpse of sight towards the end of the day. Luckily this unmasked several cracks in the snow-covered glacier. They strapped in to their rope for security reasons, but still managed to sail(!) (They could not agree if this was a success, but they moved forward.) The ice got more and more blue. Surface snow turned to slush and the sleet turned to rain. Everything was wet, even more wet than yesterday. After working hard in 14 hours, they were happily sitting in their tent, drying the gear and reporting to Norway.

rute



Dato: 2008-07-16
Lat/Long: 78N*02,96m 66W*09,00m
Distanse dag: 108 km
Distanse total: 2168 km
They have descended 500m, from 2000 m above sea level to 1500 m above sea level. It is still blowing strongly at around 15 m/s. Their expedition name, “Jenter i kuling” (eng. “Girls in gale”), has recently been very describing. They got up very early, as the weather forecast told of only 12 m/s in the first half of the day. Yet it was total white out and sleeting. Ski sails are the only useful in this kind of weather - a kite would easily get them airborne. At the end of the day, they were soaked and their ski sail did not sail any more because of icing on the lines. Wet as never before, they put up the tent at approximately 66 degrees west.


Dato: 2008-07-15
Lat/Long: 78N*02,96m 61W*51,30 m
Distanse dag: 0 km
Distanse total: 2060 km
The girls are still weather-bound due to the strong wind. "It's blowing polar bears!", they say. (The writer must admit that not only people from the northern part of Norway can overstate some times. However, all three have been living in Lofoten for at least one year, and they probably picked up some of the local traditions.) They were minded for getting to the glacier front yesterday, and now, as the weather is holding them back, they have had a psychological decline. At the same time it is a bit scary with these polar bears flying around their tent constantly. They have asked for a weather report, and the writer can inform that it looks like the wind will continue blowing from south at 10 - 15 m/s until Saturday. Even though, they will try to move on tomorrow: Down from the glacier, but head on to the wind.


Dato: 2008-07-14
Lat/Long: 78N*02,96m 61W*51,30 m
Distanse dag: 35,8 km
Distanse total: 2060 km
The wind has increased even more during the night, and Ingrid, Silje and Saskia decide to stay in the tent to play cards and drink more whiskey, waiting for better weather. It\'s been south westerly wind fore the last days, now it\'s south easterly. To protect their tent, they can report of making the best snow wind shield ever.

The girls are close to the finish line now, and if it hadn\'t been fore being weather-bound, they think they would have reached the glacier terminus at the Bowdoin fiord by the end of today. If the writer has calculated correctly, the three adventurous girls have been on the ice for some 25 days now.

Finally, Saskia sends greetings to her brother. I quote: \"Bror, gratulerer med dagen den 13.\"


Dato: 2008-07-13
Lat/Long: 78N*02,42m 59W*57,40m
Distanse dag: 133 km
Distanse total: 2024 km
Sunday and they are on the skies again. It is cloudy for the second time on their expedition. They start with 90 m lines, but the wind speed increase and they end with 30 m lines. They have been kiting so much with the 90 m lines, so now it feels strange and difficult with 30 m.


Dato: 2008-07-12
Lat/Long: 77N*04,00m 56W*40,00 m
Distanse dag: 158 km
Distanse total: 1891 km
First day of rest. After the long, record breaking day before, they felt they deserved it. There was no wind either, and for once that was not bad. They spent the day in the tent playing cards and drinking whiskey.


Dato: 2008-07-10
Lat/Long: 76N*19,90m 51W*27,00m
Distanse dag: 313 km
Distanse total: 1733 km
The girls keep beating their record: 313 km within 24 hours! They were tired when they reported, the writer could hear. Their call was received around 6 in the morning (Greenland time), so they must have had a long day. The wind conditions were close to optimal the whole day, so they just kept on sailing. This is starting to smell like a record(?) The writer must check out the statistics for girls kiting on snow...


Dato: 2008-07-09
Lat/Long: 74N*02,52m 45W*13,13m
Distanse dag: 94,5 km
Distanse total: 1420 km
First cloudy day of their trip, but around noon it cleared up and the \"Easter-sun\" once again shined. This was also the first day of kiting to the left, meaning they had a westerly wind blowing upwards the plateau. Their bodies creaked a bit because of this, they report - not used to leaning this way. They ended the day with kiting around the tent without the pulkas just for fun. It was a relief, and they wish they could kite all the way like this...


Dato: 2008-07-08
Lat/Long: 73N*10,12m 45W*02,89m
Distanse dag: 223 km!
Distanse total: 1325 km
Two degrees further north in one day! The girls scream out their achievement on a poor satellite connection. They have past 73 degrees north, and Ingrid had promised a surprise at that milestone: They were served desert after dinner, jelly to be more precisely. Yum-yum.

Today’s greetings go to Tonje, who, as they say, should have been together with them right now. They think about you, Tonje.


Dato: 2008-07-07
Lat/Long: 71N*10,00m 45W*28,00m
Distanse dag: 93,4 km
Distanse total: 1102 km
Report from the last three days: After two good kiting days, June 7th was a true disappointment. One bad decision after the other. Negative energy has been snowballing. Even though, they feel really skilled on the kiting part now - the technique is automated. Might be because there is only one big white flat endless surface to rest the eyes on. The wind has been blowing constantly from the right (easterly), and they have been kiting constantly to the \"right\" (as the kite is pulling them to the left). They describe the days as quite narrowly right now.

Finally, Saskia want to thank Inka for the drawing.


Dato: 2008-07-06
Lat/Long: 70N*20,00m 45W*34,00m
Distanse dag: 88 km
Distanse total: 1009 km


Dato: 2008-07-05
Lat/Long: 69N*32,00m 45W*33,00m
Distanse dag: 170 km
Distanse total: 921 km


Dato: 2008-07-04
Lat/Long: 68N*01,98m 46W*11,99m
Distanse dag: 171 km
Distanse total: 750 km
Yet another day record for the three girls! 171 km. They are now well above the polar circle, and the night is absent. The spirits is climbing after two incredible days with good kiting conditions. They\'re hoping the wind will maintain in this way. They thank mother nature for excellent visibility: They can almost see Norway, they say...(?). And for the living room floor skiing conditions (red. I think they are trying to say that the skiing conditions are perfect).

The food they were served at Lou and Mark is still fresh in their mind, as they are sending another thanks to them.


Dato: 2008-07-03
Lat/Long: 66N*29,84m 46W*17,21m
Distanse dag: 148 km
Distanse total: 579 km
On turn, they woke up every hour through the night, listening for wind that never came, they expected another day with no or litle help from the natures breath. But their luck was changing - the wind came and they put behind 148 km! New record. 1,75 degrees north in one bite. They reached Dye2(?), apparently a good place on earth: There they met Mark and Lou, witch invited them to a birthday party and served them pizza, potato salat, cupcakes, coffi, red wine and bear. Everyone that have been living in a tent in the wilderness in two weeks, can understad they had a good time. The girls would like to thank Mark and Lou for their friendly being.

They also droped by an abandoned military base at Dye2. In 24 hours, the soldiers living there had left (of some untold reason), leaving food, bedclothes, reports, pictures etc. Interesting they say.

Now they have put behind one third of the total distance, and they have eaten on third of their food. Hopefully, and most likely, they will speed up even more at the end of the trip, as daily routines is automated and they learn how to read the weather(ref. Bengt Rotmo).


Dato: 2008-07-02
Lat/Long: 65N*10,39m 46W*10,10m
Distanse dag: 18,9 km
Distanse total: 431,2 km
Poor wind conditions. Frustrating. They try to adjust the sleeping after the wind - without success. The writer is working on the weather forecast they have ordered, trying to understand the science of meteorology through the home page of the Danish Meteorological Institute. Not too detailed information on the inland ice on Greenland.


Dato: 2008-07-01
Lat/Long: 65N*00,28m 46W*12\'67m
Distanse dag: 63,7 km
Distanse total: 412,3 km
One more day with only 3 hours of wind. Still working with 90 m lines and doing eights, their biceps are growing fast. All three are increasingly frustrated over the lack of air movement.


Dato: 2008-06-30
Lat/Long: 64N*26,17m 46W*22,08m
Distanse dag: 55 km
Distanse total: 348,6 km
The todays 55 km was covered in just 3 hours with a Jojo on 90 m lines. Then the wind suddenly halted, and they sun-bathed the rest of the day.


Dato: 2008-06-29
Lat/Long: 63N\'55,52m 46W\'19,82m
Distanse dag: 14,1 km
Distanse total: 293,6 km
Lars reporting again. Finally the girls have gained some wind, though only enough to move foreward by drawing eights with the kite. It is mentally hard with the shifting wind conditions. They\'ve had 11 days with sun - the skin has changed colour on all three.

Ingrid is sending regards to her relatives on Verdal, and the small family witch have christen their heir. They all thank Astrid for reporting while Lars was on holiday.

Finally, Silje can confirm that the haircut was due to weight reduction.


Dato: 2008-06-28
Lat/Long: 63N*47,95m 46W*18,44m
Distanse dag: 76,6 km
Distanse total: 279,5 km


Dato: 2008-06-27
Lat/Long: 63N 06,86m 46W 27,67m
Distanse dag: 39,8 km
Distanse total: 202,9 km


Dato: 2008-06-26
Lat/Long: N62* 48,47 W46 *51,82
Distanse dag: 37 km
Distanse total: 163,1 km
Finally, I recieved a call just now and the message is: \"Now we have been away for a week, and after a couple of bad decisions, finally started kiting. It\'s good to see the other camps on the one million maps we are coordinating after. Happines for us now is sunrise and a frenzi at a 70 m line (?). Huset på tre rom og kjøkken er blitt veldig hjemmekoselig, Saskia synes det er litt fullt fordi hun må dele med en lang skalk og et stutt tykt troll uten hår \"


Dato: 2008-06-25
Lat/Long: N62* 7,13 W46* 53,53
Distanse dag: 65,2 km
Distanse total: 126,1 km
2526 m above sea level


Dato: 2008-06-24
Lat/Long: N61* 32,16 W46* 51,49
Distanse dag: 14,5 km km
Distanse total: 60,9 km
1562m above sea level


Dato: 2008-06-23
Lat/Long: N61*24,35m W46*50,73m
Distanse dag: 13,2 km
Distanse total: 46,4 km
Message as follows \"At 16.40 today we were at 1416 m over sea level, and are well up on the snow covered glacier. It is all white as far we see, we are walking constantly uphill, can\'t see the end of it and are very tired. Silje gets very happy every time she looks down on her skiing pole. This morning there were some wind from north-east and we tried to kite, but the wind was not strong enough. We assume that we have to walk for a couple of days more and hope that the wind change direction.\"


Dato: 2008-06-22
Lat/Long: N61*17,26 W76*49,20
Distanse dag: 12,3 km
Distanse total: 33,2 km
1176 meter over sea level


Dato: 2008-06-21
Lat/Long: N61*10,65m W46*78,76m
Distanse dag: 11 km
Distanse total: 20,9 km
At 23.40 they had reached 911 m over sea level. Luckily there was no fog when they started which made it easier to choose a path. The glacier was good, they met a few lakes, but went across them smoothly. Halfway up the glacier it was covered with snow and they could ski. It was like walking on Stugun. The sun is shining and they are having a good time, even though they are feeling three days with the 100 kg pulas on their bodies, \"the gall (= gnagsår) makes it feel like we have crampons inside the shoes as well as on the shoes\"


Dato: 2008-06-20
Lat/Long: N61*4,76m W46*51,11m
Distanse dag: 4,5 km
Distanse total: 9,9 km
They have now climbed to 569 meters above sea level. Weather is, as yesterday, nice: Blue sky and warm. The 100 kg pulas are making the walking hard, as expected. More cracks force them to follow a more bendy path. They camped after 8 hours walking. Fog is coming with lack of visibility - anxious about tomorrow.



/Tomorrow I, Lars Haugan, will go for a ride on my bicycle for some 19 hours, follwed by one week holiday. Astrid will report while I\'m off line./


Dato: 2008-06-19
Lat/Long: N61*2,41m W46*49,73m
Distanse dag: 5,4 km
Distanse total: 5,4 km
The first day has pasted. Pål Erik and his helpfull family transported them with boat in to the glacier front. They were able to bring the three girls closer to the front than expected. That is good. Within lunch, they had carried the pulkas up to the glacier and packed the gear. The rest of the day they walked with crampons, and made a halt at a morainal ridge where they put up the tent, securing it with ice screws. No worries so far. They are happily surprised for not finding to many cracks in the ice. Finally, they can report of climbing a total of 350 m vertically.


Dato: 2008-06-18
Lat/Long: Narsaaq
Distanse dag: 0 km
Distanse total: 0 km
From now on, the reports will be in english.



After a long journey, including four light aircrafts and a helicopter, the girls finally landed in Narsaaq. They had to spend one night in Nuuk on the way, and meeting Long-Lars they was tiped about a guy called Einar who, ostensibly, should have shelter for them for one night. Tanks to Einar and Long-Lars.

Waiting for the pulkas to picked up, they spent wednesday bathing in a fiord full of icebergs, and in the evening they had a grill party. In the evening they recieved the pulkas, so heavy that the hanger used to transport them almost collapsed. The plan is to leave Narsaaq thursday morning, in another fiord full of icebergs, and start climbing the glacier front the same evening.

Weather report, from themselves, 20 deg. C. In other words, a lot of melting water on top of the glacier...





Dato: 2008-06-18
Lat/Long: Narsaaq
Distanse dag: 0 km
Distanse total: 0 km
Da er første melding mottatt fra jentene, foreløpig per sms. Etter en lang reise som startet mandag 18. juni, har de via en overnatting i Nuuk landet i Narsaaq. \"Her er det utrolig nydelig...\", sitat Ingrid. De har allerede rukket en svømmetur i en fjord full av isfjell. I dag skal de hente pulkene med alt utstyret, og håper å komme seg av gårde til brefronten i morgen, torsdag.