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Kiting, climbing, and skiing in Greenland
10:00 p.m. EDT Apr 29, 2003
Just as the spring comes and the weather is becoming short sleeve, shorts, and flip-flop friendly, a small crew won’t be digging out their warm weather wear just yet. In just a few short days a team made up of 4 ski mountaineers will head over to East Greenland for three weeks of ski mountaineering. The expedition will be sending back dispatches with live pictures and video via Contact 2.0 expedition software system. This will be the first expedition to send back live dispatches from this area.

They will be climbing and skiing on the Karale glacier, which is larger than any glacier outside of the Arctic/Antarctic. To travel from one peak to another on the Karale the team will utilize one of the newest tools for Arctic travel, kites! While kites have been around for a while, it is only recently that people have started harnessing themselves into the tethers and used the power of the wind to travel across, sand, dirt, water, ice, and snow. Skiers using kites can cover about three times the distance as those on foot.

The team represents all the three major schools of downhill alpinism. John Griber and Jim Zellers will be on snowboards, Chris Figenshau will be on skis, and Kasha Rigby will be sporting a telemark setup. Tele skiing resembles a cross-country ski setup, with heels that lift off the ski. For increased power and versatility, the boots and skis are much sturdier than what you typically see cross-country or Arctic skiers using.

In 1996 a hut was built just to the East of the glacier. The team will use this as a starting off point. Winter conditions here last through the end of May, so the team should be in good shape with snow conditions. Stay tuned in the upcoming days for live dispatches from the ice!

Image courtesy of IceAxe.tv

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