WINDSLED AT THE GREENLAND ICE SUMMIT!
The WindSled, led by explorer Ramón Larramendi, is already at the Greenland Summit, 3207 meters (10521 ft) above sea level and in the heart of the Arctic island.
After 15 days of difficult navigation, with temperatures that have varied up to 43 ° C in one day (109 º F) , the expeditionary have reached the outskirts of the scientific base Summit Camp, founded in 1989 by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) for climate change research in the Arctic.
The expedition, with six members on board, has already traveled about 750 kilometers (466 mi) and has exceeded an altitude of 2000 meters (6561 ft), with a vehicle driven by wind energy and large kites.
From there, they plan to descend near the east coast of the island, where they will meet with the three team members who replace part of the expeditionary team and who are already on their way: Manuel Olivera, Miguel Herrero and Greenlandic Malik Milfeldt who will replace Karin Moe Bojsen, Nacho Garcia, Vicente Ignacio Leal and Oficialdegui.
The WindSled voyage, with 2000 kilos (4400 lbs) of load, started last May 21st through the interior ice sea. The great thaw of the year and the high and unexpected temperatures the crew met with very heavy and soft snow, have led to a very difficult navigation during the first days. Thus, they decided to split in two teams of three; each one moving two of the modules that make up the vehicle and a tent. “We must adapt to conditions of the surface, that’s something the sled can do without major complications,” Larramendi, promoter and expedition leader, affirmed from the ice.
From there on, the two teams were separate or together in a single convoy depending on wind conditions, something that this year is being so variable that it doesn’t always meet the weather forecast, delaying the deadlines expected from the beginning. In fact, Larramendi, who resides part of the year in Greenland and has performed different expeditions by this same route, says “Some places where there are now vast lakes of water, 30 years ago this happened at the end of June. Now we find them almost two months earlier. “I have never seen such sudden changes in temperatures and winds in my expeditions,” he adds.
Among the objectives of this expedition, in addition to testing the possibilities of the windsled as a tool for the researcher, they are collecting data on climate change in the Arctic. The samples that are collected for Mr. Moreno’s project, Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC), with snow perforations of one and a half meters (4 ft) in depth, will be added to those of the American glaciologist Jason Box, of 15 meters (49 ft) in depth.
They will pick up all necessary equipment at the scientific base Summit Camp. This base is a reference site in the world for the study of global warming, the only one in Greenland’s interior ice sheet that remains open all year round.
They have been carrying out drillings up to 3000 meters (9842 ft) in depth to study the history of climate on Earth. The three new WindSled expeditionary are scheduled to fly by helicopter from Tasiilaq town, eastern Greenland, in a few days to meet the expedition, which still has another 700 km (435 mi) ahead to reach the point, near Kangerlussuaq, where they departed from two weeks ago.
The WindSled is the only vehicle in the world powered by wind energy able to carry a load of up to 2000 kilos (4400 lbs) of weight with no pollution, in an efficient and sustainable way from the economical and environmental point of view.
The expedition is sponsored by TASERMIUT S.G.E.. It is expected they end their 2000 km (1242 mi) ordeal at the end of June. The expeditionary are available at certain times for telephone interviews or email during the course of the expedition.