Archive for the ‘Preparation’ Category

Good news from Kangerlussuaq

maandag, april 14th, 2008

This is a message from the Basecamp manager.

A few minutes ago, the team phoned me in an excited state of mind. They have arrived in Kangerlussuaq this afternoon, after two perfect flights. All cargo is in the place where it should be, and the food supplies where not stolen by hungry seals 🙂

The weather in Kangerlussuaq: -7, a calm wind from the icecap, and no snow… They have found a great hotel with enough room to repack the sledges and sort out their gear. Tomorrow will be used for informing the autorities about the plans, gathering information about the weather on the icecap, and buying a weapon to scare off polar bears.

Wednesday the team plans to set their first steps on the icecap.

En route…

maandag, april 14th, 2008

Finally, after 2 years of preparation, training, searching for sponsors and weight-gaining, the expedition team has left for the icecap.

 dscf9694.jpgWith over 30 friends and family members, 2 camera teams and a photographer for the newspapers the departures hall at schiphol was well filled.. We expect them home somewhere around the end of may, precise time and date of their arrival will be announced on this weblog. In the meantime, updates on their situation on the icecap will also be given here. Stay tuned!

Good luck guys, have a safe and wonderful trip, and  return home safely!

All the post has arrived

maandag, april 7th, 2008

overlaoded.jpgYipie a yee!! All the 20 boxes which we have send to Greenland have arrived. This is good,… no great news!! In total 400 kg have found their way to the remote post-office in Kangerlusuaq. The only thing we have to do is pick up the goods and… repack it all in our sledges.
I hope it will fit this time!

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.