Follow the team on their journey
15 May 2016
We have made it to Isortoq!!! After a tough couple of days hiking /dragging/scrambling across steep rocky mountainous terrain with all our gear on our backs - we finally have made it into Isortoq. After hiking up the side of the lake yesterday we turned into the gully towards the sea hoping to see it was still frozen. Unfortunately it wasn't. This meant our finishing point was now effectively on an island. Thankfully we managed to acquire the services of a local fisherman to cross the water to our finishing point at 3pm local time today. We are very happy and very exhausted. After 26 days on the ice it was so nice to see civilisation and people again - where we can rest our weary legs and eat /drink (lots) of something other than freeze dried food! We'll make this small village our home for the next few days (until Thurs 19th) - and then get a helicopter to another small village called Tasiilaq. A huge congratulations to Paddy and Steph for such an amazing effort! This has been one of the quickest crossings and it is a testament to their speed, endurance and ability. Celebrations have commenced!!
13 May 2016
So close! We are 11.3km out from Isortoq but we've run into a slight problem. Due to warm conditions this year - the lakes which surround Isortoq which are normally frozen (and skiable) have melted. This in itself isn't too big a problem but this will mean hiking with all our gear (skis/sleds/etc.) into Isortoq.
From the Google Earth map below - the current location is Camp 24 with the plan to hike next to the lake - then take the little gully heading west - and then hopefully over sea ice into Isortoq all the while keeping a watchful eye out for polar bears.... The adventure continues!
12 May 2016
And then there was only one day left! Tomorrow we are planning to ski down the ice cap into Isortoq - our final day of our mammoth 575km journey. We can't wait to see the small village marking the end of our ice cap crossing - but it will also be a little sad saying goodbye to the beautiful ice cap. Our next posting should be from the finishing line of Isortoq - with a beverage or two in celebration!!
11 May 2016
Downhill, light sleds and nice warn conditions made for a nice day. Given we are moving into polar bear territory (mostly on the surrounding coasts of the ice sheet) - we tested out our shooting practice this afternoon with the rifle. After building a snowman - Paddy successfully blasted its head off - quite the effort at 75m! Two more days of skiing should see us to the finish!
10 May 2016
Tough day today - the sleds were buried under this morning and visibility was zero. However - we were lucky - the weather cleared up this afternoon and we had a nice few hours' skiing. Soft snow caused some issues by sticking to the skis - wax worked in some cases - some not. Still - we managed to cover 30km in tough conditions
9 May 2016
White out today - if you were at a ski resort you'd probably have a day in by the fire. No such luck for us though - on we press. The white out started playing tricks with our eyes - making it difficult to determine up from down and causing some balance issues. But we still managed a solid 25.7km - which means we are nearly under 100km to go!
8 May 2016
Snowy conditions meant limited visibility today - but the surface was harder which enabled us to cover some good ground (30km). Only 136km to go - certainly nice to see our goal getting closer and closer. At our current rate - we expect to get to the finish on Friday or Saturday night.
7 May 2016
Today we saw a flock of birds heading west to east - they hovered/circled briefly (probably a little surprised to see us)! After offering them some salami and cheese they continued on their way. Nice sunny day today - although looks like a change may be approaching (clouds building up). Covered 28.2km today.
6 May 2016
HUGE NEWS! This morning in the most perfect sunny, windless 'without a cloud in the sky' conditions in the middle of the Greenland ice cap - Paddy has asked Steph to marry him!!!! In a place of endless sparkling snow and ice - Paddy's diamond ring shone brightest of all, second only to the smile on Steph's face! Congratulations!!!!
In less exciting news - we covered distance of 28.5km today in softening 'warm' conditions (warm being around -5c to -10c) - which pleasantly allowed skiing in t-shirts to days end. A perfect end to a perfect day.
(Editor: For the avoidance of doubt, she said yes!)
5 May 2016
Over the top. Today we skied over the highest point of the ice cap (2,500km) and so it's all downhill skiing from here. We're over halfway now - with 225km to Isortoq. Extended the ropes for the sleds today which took a little time - but still covered good ground of 28.5km. At our current speed - we should be at the Inuit village of Isortoq, our finishing point, next weekend!
4 May 2016
Today we covered 28.3km in sunny cold conditions. Currently coldest conditions we have encountered so far - max -15c with a minimum of -30c. We are right in the middle of the ice cap from east to west tonight.
3 May 2016
Cold day but firm surface allowed a good day's skiing (27.6km). Closing in on half-way across the ice cap - we should be getting close to the mid-way point tomorrow. And not far off the highest point
2 May 2016
Nice sunny day skiing today - sunglasses most definitely required! With Steph and Paddy doing the navigating today we covered a lot of ground -27km by day's end. Snow was a little soft - although is better than what it would be a few days ago given we have climbed to a higher altitude (currently at 2,300m).
1 May 2016
Late start today after a nice sleep in. 16km covered in the afternoon in coldish overcast conditions but nice to be on the skis again heading directly east now.
30 April 2016
Made it to the radar station! Half day skiing - half day resting and exploring the radar station. Quite a few planes landing and taking off from the nearby ice runway - great day to rest and recuperate.
29 April 2016
Closing in on the radar station - only 10km to go which we'll finish off tomorrow morning and than rest for the remainder of the day. Snow walls built tonight given strong winds from the south - 22km covered in strong winds.
28 April 2016
24km covered today in sunny windy conditions. Elevation now at 1,933m - constantly gaining altitude to the highest point on the ice cap of 2,484m. Only 32km left to the old US cold war early warning radar station which we should be arriving at Saturday mid-morning if all goes to plan. The station has been abandoned since the end of the cold war but the the runway it still operational for training purposes of landing and take-off from the ice. Nice place to relax for the day...
27 April 2016
Skiing into a strong headwind today - but managed 25km before day's end for 8th night on the ice cap. Strong winds made setting the tent up quite difficult - but ultimately managed. Total distance now covered 124km, total to finish 403km. Two more days should see us to the radar station 'Dye 2' (now only 56km away) for a much looked-forward-to rest day - all in good spirits.
26 April 2016
Colder conditions today - 25km covered by 6pm - and rolling onto the radar station Dye 2 - which should be reached within 3-4 days time. This US cold war radar station is largely still intact (uninhabited) - although slowly being consumed by snow. This large station marks 180km across the ice cap from the starting point - a few days short of half way to the finishing point. Total altitude gained so far is 1,620m.
25 April 2016
Another nice day skiing - 23km covered today in good conditions. Up for breakfast at 6.30am, on the skis by 8.30am - and set up for the night at 6.00pm. Tent doors open to the views given it's too hot in the tent at the moment with the mild conditions. A little sastrugi making things interesting.
24 April 2016
Good day of skiing - sunny warm weather (around zero Celsius) allowed skiing in just thermal tops. 21.5km completed by the end of the day, skis waxed up and gliding well in warm conditions. With weather conditions to remain much the same over the next week - expecting to be an Dye 2 radar station by the end of the week.
23 April 2016
Onto the skis! And out onto the ice cap proper. A full 16.7km covered today which is a great day at this early stage with full sleds. Better yet - the next 5 days are forecast for mostly sunny weather with a high pressure system sitting over west Greenland for the next few days - mild temperatures between -10c and 0c, low winds - should be a nice few days' skiing.
22 April 2016
Team are nearly out of the crevasse zone. This is well ahead of plan and is great going especially helped by improving conditions over the next few days. Should be on skis tomorrow.
21 April 2016
All going well - moving well though the lumpy ice section. Looking forward to the sunny conditions on the weekend after a few days of snowy conditions. A small unintended trip into an ice river ended up with one wet boot - but otherwise all going well.
20 April 2016
Expedition commenced! Day 1 camp about 3km from Point 660 (starting point) - all in good spirits. Cloudy and quite icy conditions making the way up to the ice sheet.
17 April 2016
On Wednesday next week, we will be step out onto the ice and into the unknown. It will be the start of a long 33-day adventure, but also the end of an intense 4-month training schedule and year-long journey.
Being able to successfully maintain a 5-times-a-week training schedule with the intensity and consistency that we have (alongside keeping a challenging day job ) is a significant achievement in and of itself, we're in excellent all-round condition and we’re both feeling well prepared – physically at least. The mental challenge of skiing across a bleak wilderness for 33 consecutive days remains something of an unknown.
We have the weekend to go through all of our kit one last time and a final day in the office on Monday before flying out to the West Coast of Greenland via Copenhagen that evening. For those who wish to follow our journey, updates will be uploaded here periodically – although no news should be assumed to be good news.
16 April 2016
We’re incredibly proud to have reached £8,888 (£10,516 with Gift Aid) of our £9,000 target in support of these three amazing charities and want to thank everyone who has given their support to this expedition
14 April 2016
With one final roller-skiing session in Regent's Park (with Mantas Strolia of CitySkier), our training schedule is complete!
4 April 2016
The bit we've been waiting for..... we're now entering the tapering phase
3 April 2016
We bring an end to our tyre-hauling with 2x 5-hour sessions on consecutive days. In case anyone has ever wondered what dragging a set of tyres around Victoria Park for half a day at a time is like – it is as boring as it sounds and will forevermore sit somewhere near the bottom of our ‘fun things to do today’ list. Thank you to everyone we met in the park for your interest, encouragement and friendship
31 March 2016
A huge thanks to our entirely anonymous £200 donation - we wish we could express our gratitude to you directly
27 March 2016
The Cairngorms provided the backdrop and Storm Katie supplied the weather for our latest training weekend outside of London - a perfect opportunity to test much of our kit 'in the field', substitute our usual tyre hauling for actual pulk pulling and undertake some technical training with James Woodhouse of Woodhouse Mountaineering. 10 days more training to go....
24 March 2016
Our long anticipated expedition parkas have arrived - and they are every bit as warm as we'd hoped they be. Thanks to PHD (Peter Hutchinson Designs) for generously providing us with a discount on our Omega jackets in support of our fundraising expedition
21 March 2016
With 4 weeks to go, it's all starting to get very 'real'... Training continues to progress well and there's a sense that we are starting to peak at just the right time. We've now chalked off all the items on the kit list (and are just waiting for the last few bits and pieces to arrive) save for personal medications, which we will turn our attention to next
14 March 2016
We've absolutely delighted to have surpassed the 75% mark (including Gift Aid) in our fundraising efforts - a massive thanks once again to everyone who has donated in support of these three incredible charities
10 March 2016
With the arrival of Paddy's 30th birthday, the customary training schedule was replaced with a celebratory dinner - albeit a teetotal one in preparation for the expedition
3 March 2016
A huge thanks to everyone who has kindly donated - we've just reached the half way mark in our journey to raise £9,000
28 February 2016
Another Sunday of training in Victoria Park - and another chance to catch up with the many regulars who have followed our weekly progress with such keen interest and share our story afresh with many others. Thank you all for your support
23 February 2016
The kit list continues to come together. Our custom-made sleeping bags arrived from Peter Hutchinson Designs today and will be subject to a thorough scutineering process over the weekend. Rated down to -63 degrees, they will be our beds for 32 nights (and some at both ends of the expedition)
19 February 2016
A frustrating 7 days of illness and injury come to an end - we're both looking forward to getting back into a full training schedule after this unscheduled break
7 February 2016
We took a welcome weekend break from our gruelling training schedule to travel to Oslo to source some of our expedition kit. With only two full days on the ground, it was a flying visit but a worthwhile one, and we even managed to enjoy a little down time at the Opera along the way. We queued up before the shops opened and left well after they officially closed and managed to tick off the majority of our kit list as a result. For those with an interest in the outdoors, Oslo’s generous smattering of sports shops is quite something to behold - not least because of the scale of their offering (think John Lewis meets Snow & Rock) - and everyone we met was super friendly and incredibly helpful. A special thanks to all the staff at Oslo Sportslager (Tor in particular), Sportsnett and DNT
31 January 2016
January comes to a close and we've managed to average 5 training sessions a week, during a busy work period, injury free
1 January 2016
Starting the year as we mean to go on.... Tyre hauling in Victoria Park. It's busier than you might think at 10am on New Year's Day! Never have we made so many friends in such a short space of time - thank you all so much for your interest