Heartbreak Camp: Preparing for the Storm

Today at Heartbreak Camp we awoke to much greater winds – they started up last night post dinner. At 11:30 Taylor (guide) wondered around camp and ensured all the guidelines were taut and the anchors secured. Bloody cold as well and higher wind chill on the practice route when I went out for a walk at 7 this morning.

In prep for the major storm coming in today we built a large snow wall for protection. We took down the communal tent and one of our usual tents in order to have three per tent. Anticipating 48-72 hrs fully tentbound- worth letting that sink in – fully tentbound. Weather watch has it starting sometime tonight.

The team built a wind wall to protect the tents from the coming storm.

Passing time & kite flying in base layers

Tent city again today. Went for a good test ski to sort system issues out. Really cold last night. – 25 in the tent after dinner and colder through the night. We will hopefully get an update tonight on the timing of the dogs’ arrival!

Our guide Eric out flying a kite today in what appears to be his base layers!
By contrast, this photo shows how normal people dress for Greenland 🙂


Waiting Under Cold Blue Skies

This being a professional blog, I’m not allowed to swear. Needless to say it was %#**#%# cold last night! -30 pre-windchill. All of us were on the cold side. Yet no one was cold enough to do anything to rectify it!!

Lazy morning – still waiting on the dogs to arrive. Went over to Ian and Dale’s tent for a mocha (2 to be honest). Went out for a test ski today to loosen up the legs. Made sure that bindings, poles and boots work. Warmer today, -10 to -15. Wind is down. Tonight promises to be North Pole colder. Apparently there’s a cold pressure coming down with lowest May temperatures or record recorded earlier today.

Testing out the gear.
Home sweet home for night two on the icecap.

Heartbreak Camp

Temperamental Greenland……….we are coming to know some of the challenges that early explorers would have faced – high winds, brutal temperatures, severe wind chill. These challenges have delayed the dogs by days and hence we find ourselves in tent city – otherwise now known as Heartbreak Camp!

Greenland’s paradox is an unforgiving climate coupled with a very hospitable people. A Greenlandic saying sums this up really well….’you’re as unlikely to meet an unfriendly man as to meet a friendly bear!!!!!’

Big storm expected tomorrow. Winds at 40 knots gusting to 60. We will spend most of tomorrow getting ready for it. It is expected to last three days. We will be completely pinned down. As will the dogs. So likely further delays.

The favourite card game of this expedition so far is Hearts, and one of the strategies of Hearts is to “shoot the moon” which basically means making calculated moves to GO FOR IT!

On the Icecap!

We got up and the call came. Mad packing to get to the hanger and load up the chopper. This is a beautiful beast! It’s logged over 44000 hours! We were all strapped in and ready to lift off and turns out there were two different sets of GPS coordinates. Woohoo. Always an adventure! The flight took 25-30 minutes. We did get to dog camp and got camp up pretty quickly. I’m sharing with Eric. 6’8”. Awesome tech, sci fi, guide extraordinaire. We decided to put up the group tent as well and had stir fry chicken and veg followed by popcorn.  Now we wait for the dogs to arrive…..

MapShare link: https://share.garmin.com/HeatherRoss2

Ominous Weather

Last night we had a Greenland BBQ reindeer. Today we got the weather forecast and it is appalling up on the glacier.

We haven’t heard from the dog teams so things are still up in the air. We remain hopeful that we will get out on the chopper tomorrow to meet at dog camp and get started. Spirits are good. Dale and I walked to old town and met up with teammate Ian. This afternoon we walked in the other direction just to loosen up the legs.

Awaiting Departure

Up to organize gear and get it over to helipad. Chopper will take us out en route to two evacuations off the ice. Dogs still weather stuck, so we may have a few days in tent city up on the glacier awaiting their arrival.

Whoa nelly. Spent the entire day on call to fly out and just now told won’t be flying today. All our gear is over in the hanger. Will restart the process tomorrow.

Greenland 2018

And we’re off!

This is a pretty grueling trek – we are skiing across Greenland – approximately 600km, winter camping the whole way.

Yesterday we arrived in Copenhagen. We fly out to Kangerlussuaq on May 4th. Kangerlussuaq is a settlement on the west coast of Greenland and acts as the main air transport hub .

We start skiing on the 6th for 18-24 days pending weather.

I am looking forward to the rhythm of adventure when out on trip. I have always found that once you get into a rhythm your mind is free to think about the possibilities.

We have added a unique navigational GPS device to the trip this year that will enable you to follow the expedition in real-time and send messages to the team. If you wish to access this, please click on the link below that will take you to our team’s MapShare page. Please feel free to share this link with any others who may be interested in following our journey. We look forward to hearing from you on trip!

MapShare link: https://share.garmin.com/HeatherRoss2

Tech for this year’s trip!