Video Tribute to Dixie Dansercoer

Antarctic Arctic
Polar skier manhauling across ice

Before his untimely death last week in a Greenland crevasse, Dixie Dansercoer’s career in the Arctic and Antarctic spanned more than 20 years. It included nine pioneering expeditions and many others in his role as a polar guide. The 58-year-old explorer and athlete excelled at most of his pursuits, including ultra-marathons, high-altitude mountain biking, kite-skiing, and windsurfing.

Then there were his many exceptional polar journeys.

In 2014, Dansercoer and Canadian Eric McNair-Landry snow-kited around the outer edge of the Greenland ice sheet. Covering 4,045km, they became the first to fully circumnavigate one of only two ice sheets in the world. They also set a distance kiting record.

Treacherous weather forced them to spend much of the first three weeks inside the tent, as fierce storms raged outside.

“Our total distance was 200km out of the target 4,000, so not doing well at all,” Dansercoer said of this period. “But suddenly we picked up the good winds and covered up to 300km in a day.”

In the end, the pair took just 55 days to finish.

Earlier, in 2007, Dansercoer and fellow Belgian Alain Hubert manhauled and kite-skied more than 2,000km across the Arctic Ocean in 99 days. Others had crossed the Arctic Ocean before, but theirs was the first from Siberia to Greenland.

As on most of his expeditions, Dansercoer worked to collect field data on climate change. Every 50km, they measured the thickness of snow that covered the sea ice for the European Space Agency. Dansercoer and Hubert took 106 days to cross arguably the most difficult surface on the planet, the semi-frozen Arctic Ocean.

Some of Dansercoer’s most exceptional projects included 3,924km and 69 days across Antarctica, a 5,000km in a partial circumnavigation of the Antarctic ice sheet, and a 60-day re-creation of de Gerlache’s first overwintering Antarctic expedition.

These three videos give a sense of how strongly Dansercoer felt that tug to the polar regions.

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About the Author

Chasing Dreams Travel

Alex Myall

After 22 years in the exercise industry, offset by long-haul adventures around the world, Alex Myall found a better option a few years ago and has never looked back. She took a diploma in travel journalism, backed it up with travel industry certificates, then launched Chasing Dreams Travel NZ, her own travel agency.

Now she combines her love of writing and world travel with running her business from her home on the spectacular South Coast of Wellington, New Zealand, while simultaneously being mum to a gorgeous baby girl. She maintains a “life’s too short to do things by halves” attitude.

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Cindi Hawley
Cindi Hawley
1 month ago

Amazing tribute. Thank you for posting.

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