Tough final stretch for Yukoners in Greenland

After traveling 4,262 kilometres over 67 days, kite-skiing through freezing temperatures, it would be nice to finish the trip by gliding easily to the final destination. No such luck.

After traveling 4,262 kilometres over 67 days, kite-skiing through freezing temperatures, it would be nice to finish the trip by gliding easily to the final destination.

No such luck.

Yukoners Derek Crowe and Devon McDiarmid, along with British adventurer Adrian Hayes, completed their quest from the southern tip of Greenland to the northern edge and back down partway to the MacCormick Fjord near Qaanaq on Saturday.

The trio spent their final 13 hours of travel hiking off the Greenland Ice Cap, down jagged rock faces that played havoc with their sleds.

“We’re delighted and can’t quite believe its over,” wrote Hayes in their final blog from the quest. “The final 10 kilometres (were) the slowest 10 kilometres any of us have ever taken … hauling two sleds over, down and around a mountain! If it wasn’t so hard it would have been laughable.

“The sleds—designed to glide on ice—didn’t enjoy crashing over rocks quite so much and were totally trashed by the end. No choice unfortunately, its the only way off the ice cap.”

Even before reaching the edge of the glacier, the adventurers were encountering problems, having to cross crevasses and even wading through water.

“So many crevasses were crossed—one of which I went in—and water waded through … it felt Greenland wanted us to leave with some hard lessons for sure,” wrote Hayes.

“Descending off the ice cap was always going to be challenging, but kite flying the first two hours over crevasses, deep melting snow and so much water it resembled water skiing more than snow skiing, was a bit more challenging than even we bargained for!”

Beginning their journey mid-May, the three are now only the second group to kite-ski from the southern edge to the most northern reaches of the island—but the first to make the trip up and partway back down. Adding to the monumental task, they completed the journey without receiving supplies along the way, pulling all they needed in two sleds. The finite amount of supplies led to some creative recipes as food levels dwindled.

“Our obsession with food continues,” wrote Hayes on July 15. “Apart from talking about it incessantly, we are creating all sorts of salivating inventions in ways to make it extend beyond 65 days, which Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey would be proud of. Not least using butter in everything that moves and the remaining dust from pulverized biscuits to bulk up every meal.”

Although they suffered some minor injuries along the way, all three are said to be in good condition.

“Whilst the sleds arrived a little worse for wear, we’ve arrived safe and well,” wrote Hayes.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read