Yukoners reach northern tip of Greenland

Last week, Yukoners Devon McDiarmid, 34, and Derek Crowe, 34, as well as British adventurer Adrian Hayes, 44, became only the second group of kite-skiers to reach the northern tip of Greenland starting from the base of the island.

Last week, Yukoners Devon McDiarmid, 34, and Derek Crowe, 34, as well as British adventurer Adrian Hayes, 44, became only the second group of kite-skiers to reach the northern tip of Greenland starting from the base of the island. From the tip to their final destination, Qaanaq, it’s all new territory.

“We’re going back down (partway) to save on the pick-up cost,” McDiarmid said before leaving for the trip.

As of Friday, the adventurers were down to their last 405 kilometres of their 3,500-kilometre trip. However, the winds must co-operate to keep that distance from growing.

“And we’re going everything but in straight line the past week,” wrote Hayes on Wednesday. “With the wind continuing to blow in our faces, that ‘distance to go’ will probably end up at well over 800 kilometres.

“Today we again ended up further away from our finish point, Qaanaq, than our location this morning.”

As of day 62 of a trip they hoped to finish in 65, the adventure seekers have been struggling with food supplies for about a month.

“Our obsession with food continues,” wrote Hayes on Wednesday. “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.

“Not as enticing as a plate of spare ribs, of course—and I could well do with some of them right now.”

Besides hunger pangs, Crowe and Hayes are dealing with other discomforts resulting from long hours in the kite-ski harness and a fall a couple weeks ago. But there is little else they can do but continue on through the pain, said Hayes.

“(I’m) in a fair bit of pain from a nasty fall a week ago when trying to fix a broken sled rope on the move, which resulted in me being launched skywards (and) landing hard on my back,” wrote Hayes on Wednesday. “A heavily bruised or cracked rib the result, which is getting worse—probably from the total absence of any rest!

“Devon’s hip bones are causing him problems too—and when such expeditions are not resupplied you just have to resolve them with whatever resources you have.”

Besides seeking adventure, the three explorers are collecting information for scientific research and are hoping to raise awareness about climate change.

Working with an environmental group called One Planet Living and some Danish and Canadian polar researchers, the trio is collecting samples and observing wildlife on the journey.

Those interested can follow their progress and learn more about their trip at http://www.greenlandquest.com.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com