GREENLAND SNOWKITE: DAY 18 – Pressure was back on, but in a good challenging way

 
Date 23/05
 
Day 18
 
Location N 77 38.41 W 068 33.55
 
Distance (day/total) 110/956 miles
 
Weather Sunny with moderate winds
 
Wind 10-20mph
 
Temp -10c
 

 

 
Leo leaping 2m into the air right over my kite lines, wasn’t the best start to the day, but he managed to hit the ground skis first, but then promptly launched himself skywards again. Eventually he got himself sorted and off we went. We went so fast we couldn’t actually stop for 50 miles, the wind was so strong, we would have ended up with a kitemare of tangled lines. But when we stopped we realised there was an out side chance we could get to the edge of the ice cap today.
 

A quick phone call to Kim confirmed he had two dog teams ready to come out and meet us. So despite pulling the throttles to idle the other day, the pressure was back on – but in a good challenging way. Could we do the last 60 miles in time? The wind was due to back off by the afternoon, so every drop of wind speed, brought an anxious moment for us both, but we used our knowledge of the katabatic winds and took lines that we knew would yield higher wind speeds. All of a sudden we were racing towards the end, and by racing I clocked 35mph and I reckon Leo was pulling 40mph (out of control!).
 

We made it, and a quick stop to change to a smaller kite to negotiate the little valleys and rocky outcrops suddenly saw us at the top of the descent to the Bowdion fjord. Normally a 12 hour descent we were blessed with snow that we could drag and lower our pulks all the way to the sea ice in a little over 4 hours.
 

So it is now midnight and the sun is shining bright outside, the two dog sled teams are here and we, the dogs and their drivers are all going to get a good night’s sleep before the return to Qaanaaq tomorrow.
 

We will update the blog with some more of our thoughts tomorrow.
 

Bruce