Archive for the ‘Greenland Crossing 2008’ Category

After 31 days on the ice cap, Harald and Andre have completed their expedition. But not before some interesting experiences on the Western side of the ice cap. The transition from ice sheet to glacier to mountain comes with caution in navigating the glacier’s crevaces and the many snow lakes.

Listen below to the last few days of the journey, as well as some very nice final thoughts from Harald after they arrived at Kangerlussuaq, the small town and former air base on the Western side of Greenland.

May 17, 2008: Western mountains finally in sight

May 18, 2008: Nearing the mountains and end of the glacier

The aerial photograph of this area

May 19, 2008: A tough day, with snow and a white out

May 20, 2008: Navigating around the glaciers crevaces and under-snow lakes

May 21, 2008: Reached the end of the Greenland Ice Cap!

Remaining 3 km to go

May 22, 2008: Final thoughts from Kangerlussuaq

At the airport of Kangerlussuaq

Adam: “Harald, welcome home. I hope you can enjoy a warm meal and warm, soft bed at home.”

Harald (after his return)” Adam, thank you very much for all your support….and here some very first pictures of the expedition.”

Here’s the final map:

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Over the past few days, Harald and Andre have reached DYE 2, a former distant early warnig radar station operated by the US during the cold war (built in 1960, closed 1988). Therfore they have made about two-thirds into their trek across the Greenland ice cap. Next to DYE 2 is Camp Raven, manned by a few individuals and used by the New York Air National Guard for training. I found a video on the Internet (not from Harald) that shows the camp and airplanes used during the training.

It seems that Camp Raven was a nice reprieve for the team, as they were able to interact and relax, briefly with people from some other expeditions and Lou and Mark, who manage the station.

Harald Fuchs using snow kite during training in Norway.

In one podcast below, Harald also talks about missing some good homemade German food. I don’t blame him.

Also, they’ve benefited from strong tailwinds allowing them to use the snow kites. I’m including another picture here taken during a training expedition earlier this year to give you an idea of the kites.

Finally, listen here to the latest podcasts. Harald is covering a lot of ground and is now coming into different terrain (lakes and, soon, deep crevices).

May 12, 2008: Strong tailwinds and snow kites to make 50km
May 13, 2008: Reached the DYE 2
and Camp Raven


Evening in Camp Raven

May 14, 2008: Time at DYE 2 and Camp Raven; then off again using snow kites

Hercules airplain from the New York Air National Guard

May 15, 2008: Getting hungrier and “Haraldin”, an home-cooked food
May 16, 2008: Transition from ice cap to new terrain – Snow Lakes

Finally, as you can see from the map, they are covering a lot of ground. If you zoom in, you can start to see the lake territory he is entering now. I can’t wait for the pictures.

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On May 8, Harald and Andre reached the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet. After a few days traveling on a plateau at the summit, they’ve begun to travel downhill. And judging by the map, they have been able to make more progress each day.

Listen to the daily audio reports as Harald explains the importance of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and describes the differences between the eastern and western sides of the ice sheet.

May 7, 2008: The importance of the Greenland Ice Sheet

May 8, 2008: Reached the Summit!

May 9, 2008: Traveling along a plateau; 360 degree views of the Greenland Ice Sheet

May 10, 2008: Good weather; very cold nights

May 11, 2008: Strong winds producing snow clouds and white outs

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Due to a challenging schedule, I haven’t updated Harald’s blog daily as I’d wanted to. So, to catch up, I’m going to include a number of Harald’s podcasts below.

He’s been making great progress and has had some extremely interesting experiences and things to share.

And, for those wanting to follow along more regularly than I’ve been able to update this blog recently, look to the right on this page and you’ll see links to his podcasts as soon as he records them.


May 1, 2008: Applying the 10 Rules for Polar Research to Business

May 2, 2008: Stormy morning

We love Sastrugi

May 3, 2008: How to navigate

Navigation with the compass

May 4, 2008: One Ski breaks

The broken ski

May 5, 2008: Minus 18 degrees in the morning, with a white out later in the day

May 6, 2008: Equipment for a polar ice trek

And, finally, an updated map:

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Harald gives an overview of the typical meal when trekking across the polar ice cap. It involves a lot of calories (butter, biscuits and bacon for breakfast – not bad).

Listen here: April 30 2008 Daily Report

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The expedition has reached 1,600 meters above sea level, which Harald notes as significant as it’s two-thirds of the altitude of the summit of the ice cap.

Listen to the daily podcast here: April 29 – Daily Audio Report

In the podcast, Harald also recounts the 10 Golden Rules of Polar expeditions:

1. Go for both poles
We didn’t manage to even reach the South Pole the first time. But we never lowered our goal. Our final success was so much greater in the face of it.

2. Seek out the winners
We wouldn’t have made it without the aid of polar veterans, and they in turn learned from veterans before them. Every true success is a mankind joint venture.

3. Don’t cut food and fuel
In the short run, dropping food and fuel increased our speed. In the long run, it killed our expedition. Don’t undercut your survival.

4. Face the storm
Hiding out in a tent waiting for the sunny days steals crucial time. A storm always looks the worst from inside the tent. Face the storm.

5. Get out each morning
Get out there, every single day. There are so many reasons not to: Repairs badly needed, fog and whiteout. The winner moves when the others rest.

6. Keep moving
In temperatures of -50C, we wore only thin layers of clothing. In this situation, to stop was to die. When times are rough and you are the underdog, keep running.

7. Don’t think
Skiing thin ice commands swift and determined steps. Too much doubt in times of pressure kills the power of action. Don’t think, just go.

8. Be brutal
If you want to reach the impossible then you must continue where others stop. Tear down walls with your bare hands, crawl on your knees. But never stop.

9. Say only positive things to each other
We asked Polar veterans for their single, most important advice. Out of their advice, one turned the most important to us: “Say only positive things to each other.

10. You don’t have to believe to win
Faced with the facts, we could not believe in our success. Yet it arrived. You don’t have to believe in success. Just do the right things. And go.

And here’s the map to follow the progress:

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It seems the storm subsided (though still windy) allowing the team to move forward. Listen to Harald’s report, as we details a typical daily routine. (sneak peak: it involves a LOT of walking, and a LOT of melting snow for water).

Listen: April 28 – Daily Audio Report

Also, based on a suggestion left in the comments of a prior blog post, I’ve added the final destination point – Kangerlussuaq on the West Coast of Greenland – on the Google Map. I’ve zoomed out so you can see the full route. There’s still a lot of ground to cover.

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