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Skier dead on Greenland

Posted: May 03, 2013 02:50 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) The infamous blizzard on Greenland, the pittaraq, has claimed a life. Other ski teams were kept tent bounded and forced to abort their expeditions because their provisions were running out.

Exposed at night

A British adventurer, Philip Goodeve-Docker, perished in a pittaraq during a horizontal Greenland crossing. He was with two team mates, Andy Norman and Roan Hackney, on a 600km sledge-hauling ski-trek and had food for more than 30 days in their sleds. According to news sources they started on the East Coast and were two days out on the ice when their tent blew away. Philip reportedly died of exposure during the night while they were waiting for a rescue helicopter to arrive the next day.

The tragedy took place on April 28. Andy and Roan suffered from frostbite and shock.

Runners trapped in blizzard

Last week while Jukka Viljanen and Greg Maud were busy with their run across Greenland from Isortoq to Kangerlussuaq, when their guide, Jens Erik, became sick from what they believe was carbon monoxide exposure. The runners and their supporting dog team turned around to their start point, Isortoq, on the East Coast and got caught in "a fierce windstorm". The team were kept tent bounded for days. According to Greg's Facebook, they made their way home on April 29.

Tasiilaq to Nuuk

Lance Ranger (UK/Swiss), Arne Karlstrøm (Norwegian) and British guide, Rick Marchant planned a sledge-hauling ski-trek from Tasiilaq on the East Coast, heading South-West to Fridtjof Nansen's 1888 ultimate goal, Nuuk, the capital of Greenland on the South-East coast.

After surviving "three major storms and another one predicted", they decided to abort their expedition on April 26 and return to the East Coast, Lance reported. At that stage they have been stuck in their tent 4 out of 12 days. Calculating their food and fuel they realized they would run out of provisions.

Yesterday the team was 65 km from the East Coast. A helicopter was called in to pick them up, but could not fly due to the wind.

Listen to Lance's Lance's voice dispatches here.

Vertical route kite-ski

On a route other than that of the pittaraqs, Simon Edmundson (UK) and Tim Tottenham (Ireland) are kite skiing from the South of Greenland to Qaanaaq in the Northwest. They report favorable winds for their kiting and have daytime maximum temperatures at "only -15°C.... with the night time min at -30°C."


Philip Goodeve-Docker before the expedition.
Philip Goodeve-Docker before the expedition.