THE WIND SLED FINALIZE THE EXPEDITION SUCCESSFULLY
-Ramón Larramendi’s team has made a route of 2,000 kms in five weeks
-His crew have witnessed the accelerate melting of the Arctic while they were collecting data on climate change.
JUNE 27 , 2016. The Wind Sled, led by explorer Ramón Larramendi , has successfully completed its journey of almost 2,000 kilometers , a route that has led the sled to scend up to 2,000 meters high and that has lasted six weeks. The team of five people who have completed this weekend the Ice Summit Expedition Greenland 2016 arrived last Saturday afternoon at Kangerlussuaq , on the southwest coast of Greenland, after the last hours in which they found cracks in the ice that complicated the end, but that did not prevent his arrival at the planned goal .
During the expedition, which had scientific and exploration objectives , it has been proven that the wind vehicle, one of a kind in the world , which has been designed by Larramendi , is able to navigate the Arctic territories carrying two tons and up to six crew .
For the first time, the Wind sled, with dimensions of 12 meters long by three and a half wide, has been able to make an ascent with headwind, reaching the 3,240 meters, the ‘summit’. From there, the team began the descent on the other side of the iced ‘dome’ close to the east coast, where an helicopter got close to the vehicle for the chang of part of the crew and from where they began the last phase of the journey , which ended this weekend. “We are very satisfied. It has been very hard, because of the weather conditions, but we have achieved the objectives. We hope this expedition and the wind sled will be used as a tool for the Spanish and international polar exploration “, Ramón Larramendi.Said upon his arrival in Kangerlussuaq The Ice Summit Expedition Greenland 2016, sponsored by Tasermiut S.G.E. and supported by the Spanish Geographic Society, started on May 15th in Spain and started the navigation after being assembled on the ice near the town of Kangerlussuaq six days later . In the first part of the adventure, Hilo Moreno, Ignacio Oficialdegui, Vicente Leal, the Danish Karin Moe Bojsen and Nacho Garcia accompanied the explorer. The last four were relieved , as planned, after 1,500 kilometers of navigation by Manuel Olivera, Malik Milfeldt and Miguel Herrero.
From the first days of the journey , Larramendi confirmed that the melting of Greenland inland has advanced several weeks this year, with respect to they found only two years ago in the circumnavigation of Greenland 2014. Not only the temperatures have been higher, but the night polar winds they expected have behaved erratically. They had to divide the convoy of four modules in two parts with two teams to continue the ascent to the summit some times.
During the route, the members of the expedition have collected data about the ice and snow conditions, on cosmic radiation for the scientists from the CSIC and the University of Alcala de Henares.
Once on the ice summit, in the American scientific base Summit Camp (or Summit Station), they also collected scientific instruments for another research in this case led by the American glaciologist Jason Box, form the Geological Survey of Denmark. With this material, the expeditioners have made drilling of 13.5 meters depth in different geographic coordinates of the Greenland interior for climate change studies.
After getting past the the iIce Summit , To go down near the southeast coast was faster, at sometimes exceeding 25 km / h with the convoy and without major incidents. And they hadn’t problems on the way back to the west neither, on the last 500 kilometers. The most difficult time for the wind sled took place in the last hours, when the sled had to cross an area of large cracks, covered by snow, that made the last kilometers in a ‘land-mine’, fortunately without consequences. A journey of 1,870 kilometers in total.
As soon as they landed, Larramendi admitted: “This expedition has not been easy because it has being too hot, several degrees above zero up to 2,200 meters of altitude , and because to drag 2,000 kilos of weight is a challenge that has never been attempted before, but we are really happy and satisfied that we have overcome it. We have been repairing the damage on the way and overcoming the difficulties. Any other vehicle could have gone ahead in the conditions in which we have done the ice interior .
It has been demonstrated once again that the simplicity and efficiency of the wind sled is one of a kind to take scientist advantage. ”
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