Greenland Fall 2015 ski season opens

Norwegian guide, Bengt Rotmo sent over news
(Correne Coetzer) Among the Greenland ski teams during the Spring 2015 season we saw the three young Norwegians, Ronny Andre Kjenstad, Vegard Jørstad and Ole Christian Kjenstad, breaking the 13-year-old sought after speed ski record with a time of 7 days, 10 hours and 20 minutes over 350 miles / 560 km. They skied across the Ice Cap on the horizontal route from Point 660 in the West to Isortoq in the East.

Few days later Brits Tom Avery, George Wells and Patrick Woodhead and South African Andrew Gerber, set a coast-to-coast record with kites, covering the 610km from Isortoq westward across the ice plus the distance from Point 660 to the coast at Kangerlussuaq in 9 days, 19 hours, 40 min.

Fall 2015 season:

Norwegian ski guide for Borge Ousland Polar Exploration, Bengt Rotmo, sent over news that he and a team of skiers are on Greenland, getting ready for East-West crossing.

Bengt said he is quite exited about the conditions this Fall. “Last Spring there was definitely more snow than usual and roomers say that Summer has been cold. Perhaps this year will be a “plus” year – and a growing icecap…”

In a previous interview with Explorersweb, seasoned Greenland guide, Bengt explained which season he prefers for a crossing and in which direction:

“I prefer the Fall, it has more to it. It is harder than a Spring crossing, but the contrasts are a lot bigger. It is a really nice boat ride out to the start. With icebergs in the sea. The icefall shows all the crevasses up to about 1300 m, so at the start you have to walk around cracks, melting rivers and so on.”

“On the main plateau it’s about the same as in the Spring, but it gets dark at night. And when you wake up in the morning it is still dark. The sun comes up and sometimes we get beautiful sunrises. Also nice sunsets. On cold nights at the west side we even can see Northern Lights.”

“Coming down the icefall on the West side, is also more demanding in the Fall. There is big melting systems there, which is the reason we start very late in the season. They are normally frozen by the time we get there, but still beautiful. And the last day is particularly demanding with lots of ups and down.”

“I always say, if you want to get most out of Greenland and want to learn how to handle cold, bad weather and so on, or you have a bigger trip in mind, go for the Fall.”

“If your only goal is to cross the Icecap – go for the Spring. Preferably just before melting starts on the West side. During the last years, the beginning of May has been a good start time for crossing West-East. Some people chose to start early April – then you get more winter, and a colder trip – more like the late Fall without the frozen rivers and crevasses. “

Bengt’s Five Top Tips for the Greenland horizontal crossing:

– Don’t walk too fast

– Be prepared for a storm or two

– Bring food for at least 27 days if you go in the Fall

– Bring crampons for everybody

– Enjoy the whole trip, soon you’ll be back to normal life 🙂

Follow Bengt’s daily updates in the Ousland Blog on Pythom Expedition Dispatches.