Archive for maart, 2008

Expedition series on TV

woensdag, maart 26th, 2008

dsc00088.JPGLast night we met a team six people from the AVRO in a cosy brown pub in Utrecht. The AVRO is a Dutch public broadcasting company. They will broadcast a series of five 30-minute television programmes about the expedition. This is superdelux ! It will be broadcasted 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 August 2008 at Nederland-3 around 23:30.
The AVRO treated us on drinks and explained how we could help them making the series a success. It means we will have to do some more filming ourselves and assist them when necessary in drawing attention to the series. It’s now also possible to say a few words in Dutch (for the Dutch audience) which will help in filming those first shouts and cries when something exciting happens. The AVRO team looked like a fine group of people and we all have faith that the series will be great !

You’ll never walk alone…

dinsdag, maart 25th, 2008

img_2990.JPGNansen was the first to cross Greenland. East to West. Rune Gjeldnes was the first to cross Greenland South to North. The rest is history. Nowadays there are a few expedition each year making the attempt to cross the Icy island.

From the 1st of April hunting season is open again. So who else is there?

Circle 66 will start around April/May 2008. They will follow the Arctic circle path –at 66° of latitude. Also start on the east cast and 25 days later and 600 km further they will reach the other side. It is an international team consisting of 5 breast cancer survivors: one man and four women.

The long way
South to North crossing will be done by an other Dutch team. The brave boys of the Notice expedition did a East to West crossing last year. They will try to cross a 2500 km. route this year.

Also on this rout from South to North will be a finish team of Pete Mäkelä and Pete Vourenmaa. Going for a unsupported, kite assisted expedition South to North – 2700km.

Alex Hibbert and George Bullard will traverse Greenland and return, unsupported, unsupplied. New Route: North-West from near Kulusuk to the west coast and back (1400 miles / 2250 km)

They won’t be on their own either. An other team will also try this route. They will use kites whenever possible to use the winds. The Arctic Kites team will cross the Greenland Icecap to raise money for charity. This 640km journey from Nagtivit on the East coast to Illulissat on the West coast will be undertaken on skis, whilst hauling pulks each weighing around 100kg.

Two Danish men, Søren Hvalsøe and Per Jessen, will try to attempt an official record in crossing the ice cap of Greenland in the shortest time possible. Start waterfront of SønderstrømFjord in the west and finish at the waterfront on the east coast near Isortoq. So the same route as we will take.

Another expedition aiming at speed is the trip of Greg Kolodziejzyk. He made a special machine in which he can bike the icecap. So before we know it he will have crossed the icecap and be of his way back home.

All you guys and girls out there on the ice. Have a really good time and enjoy the trip.

Pissing like a man

zondag, maart 23rd, 2008

One of the first things people ask me when they hear about this trip is: how do you wash yourself and what about going to the toilet? For me, Sanne, wet toilet towels work best. I keep them thawed out in my cloth. I clean about everything with it except my hair. Two a day are enough and I can burn them afterwards.

freshette11.jpgGoing to the toilet is sometimes a small expedition on itself. Imagine yourself in a storm and you have to pee. You can’t take off all of your clothes or your gloves. For obvious reasons this is a bigger problem for me than it is for the 5 guys, but there are tools for almost everything.
The urinal funnel. My old one broke, but fortunately I found a new one in Germany. It has found favour amongst outdoor enthusiasts, allowing them to go to the toilet at will, without the need to remove layers and layers of clothing. After a bit of practice I can even pee in a pee-bottle inside a sleeping bag. Ideal for days we have to stay in the tent because it’s storming.

Meeting with the doctor

vrijdag, maart 21st, 2008

Meeting with the doctorToday we have had a meeting with our expedition doctor. Casper will be our home based medic. In case of an emergency he can be reached on his mobile and he will be stand-by 24/7.

Together with Casper we have fixed our expedition medical kit. This will be just a bit more than the standard medical kit used for outdoor travel. Our kit will be more based on our cold environment. There will be also suficientstock of medicine so we can be completely self supoorting for a couple of days. In Greenland an emengency rescue can take days instead of houres. During those days we need to be our own doctor.

Last condition check-up

donderdag, maart 20th, 2008

Last week we took a sports test to get an indication of our physical conditions. Last time we did this was almost two years ago, at a very modern sport school with a very different test. This time we went to “Praktijk voor Conditieverbetering Witte Vrouwen” in Utrecht. A very friendly and relaxed place. No magic vitamin drinks or shiny muscles in tight bright coloured clothes, nor television sets and loud music. Nothing to make you forget that actually you hate sport and rather sit in front of the television with a beer and peanuts. But, you want to look young and are afraid to die young too, so you just have to go through all of the meaningless boring motions lifting weights for no reason at all other than to compensate for a lazy automated lifestyle.

Well, that’s the opinion of some of our group which actually prevented some of us to go to a gym regularly. But ofcourse also we want to survive at least our expedition, so it was time for a check-up. The Praktijk voor Conditieverbetering Witte Vrouwen immediately took away all our mixed feelings about sportschools. We were guided by Casper (our expedition doctor) and by the owner who was a very friendly slightly older and knowledgable man. It turned out that at this place many more expeditions and sports people come to work on their condition, so the owner was quite used to testing people who were going for extreme physical challenges.

We had our relevant variables measured and although the owner was not as impressed with us as compared to some other expeditions he had seen we do not need to worry a lot. We were in very good shape. Even the older people amongst us. So, our bodies are ready and set to go now !

Sending gear to Greenland

maandag, maart 10th, 2008

At the post officeToday we have send 19 boxes with food and a part of the material to Greenland.
The total weights of the boxes was about 380kg. In about one or two weeks hopefully the 19 boxes will be delivered at the post office in Kangerlussuaq. We have good reason for sending all this stuff already now. If something is missing along the way to Greenland, we still have some time to buy new gear and food.

dsc_2396.JPGThe reason for sending in the first place? Because airline companies charge ridiculous amounts of money for our over weight. And as we do not want to waste our sponsors money… we will send all the boxes by mail.

A polar diet

dinsdag, maart 4th, 2008

Packages of day rationsSometimes travelling in polar regions is no fun at all. Cold, loneliness, long days of working and strange food. For the last thing, the food, we have had some real nightmares. We will use about the double amount of energy as during a normal office day. So instead of using 2500 KCal, we will average 5000 KCal a day.

We can’t just go to the shop and buy twice the amount of our normal daily groceries. This will put to much weight in the sledges which we have to drag around. So the food has to be dried. The food also has to contain enough fat and calories. We have to have some variety in food, as we do not want to eat 40 days in a row all the same things. And last but not least. We don’t want to spend houres cooking in the tent. This will take to much fuel. which we have to carry.

img_6992.JPGSo as you can see, there are some restrictions to a rewal polar diet. But at the end of the day we have managed to get a ration of about 1 kg. This has the energy of 5300 Kcal. So lets say, about 50 Snicker bars. Mmm sounds boring. Well it isn’t. Have a look below at the contains of a daily ration.

Milk powder
Vitamin pil
Peanut butterimg_6994.JPG
Evening meal pack
Tomato saus
Chocolate milk
Energy bar
Beef Jerky
Chewing gum

Enjoy your dinner!

CO2 neutral

maandag, maart 3rd, 2008


Our flights kilometres, in total more than 43.000km, are compensated in terms of CO2-exhaust. More than 500 trees must grow one year to compensate one ton of CO2. As we believe in our project and what it stands for it is an obvious choice for us to have our inpact in nature compensated. We use Greenseat to do the trick

Will you also be travelling some miles by plane. Please do the same.

Another big adventure

maandag, maart 3rd, 2008

www.summitadventures.nlWe are doing great things but a friend of ours has great plans aswell. He will be joining an expedition in April to climb Cho Oyu (8201m).Mountaineering was in and out Bert’s life the whole time. After being dragged into the Austrian and Swiss Alps by his parents from age 5 on, he later picked it up more seriously in his college time doing many peaks in the alps, a.o. Mt. Blanc, and climbed in northern India in 1996. In 2002 he did a few peaks in Tibet and was at the north coll of Everest , Tibet. In 2006 he did Pumori (7150m) Nepal joining an international expedition. In 2007 he and his girlfriend climbed in Peru/Bolivia and did o.a. Peq. Alpamayo, Illusioncito and Illimani (6450m).

2008 will be the step-stone towards his Mt .Everest expedition, north side in 2009. In 2008 he’ll try to summit on his first 8000-er by climbing the world’s sixth highest: Cho Oyu ,Tibet (8201m).

You can follow Bert during his climb