Rune Gjeldnes recalls sea-land-air Greenland 1996

20 years ago, Rune and Torry Larsen made a sea – air – land expedition from the very south to the most northern tip of Greenland, 2940 km in 86 days, world’s longest ski expedition at the time

“Rune is not a man of big words,” wrote Tina Sjogren, awarding Rune Gjeldnes on Explorersweb for his 2005-06 Antarctica solo kite-ski crossing, Novolazarevskaya to Terra Nova Base, 4804 km in 90 days. He then made Polar history when he became the first person to complete both North Pole and South Pole crossings without receiving supplies. Both journeys were made edge to edge.

In 2000, Rune had crossed the entire Arctic Ocean unassisted and unsupported (no kites) with his friend Torry Larsen – a feat without precedents in polar history, stated Tina. The two men almost lost their lives and the odyssey was later described in the book ‘Dead Men Walking‘.

They set out from Severnaya Zemlya in Russia, to cross the entire Arctic Ocean via the North Pole. Through the darkness, they pulled twice the weight of regular unsupported North Pole expeditions. On the way, the two men lost their sleds, and most of their gear. When they finally reached Cape Discovery in Canada, they were picked up wearing only a backpack. Doctors of a small research station that examined them on arrival said that Rune and Torry were only 48 hours from death. They had been out for 109 days, covering 2100 km.

Leading up to the North Pole crossing, was a Greenland crossing in 1996 where, at the time, Rune and Torry made the world’s longest ski expedition, South-North, edge to edge.

Rune recalls Greenland in a blogpost yesterday, “20 years ago, 12th of June 1996, Torry Larsen and me reached Cape Morris Jesup. The most northern tip of Greenland, after having done the whole length of Greenland. From the very south of the world biggest island. The world longest ski expedition at that time. 2940 km in 86 days. It was a true SEA – AIR – LAND expedition. And still maybe the best I have been on, and still very proud of its complexity and management and execution.”

Read Rune’s trip down memory lane here.

Previous/Related on Explorersweb

Best of ExplorersWeb 2006 Awards: The Longest March – Rune Gjeldnes Antarctic crossing

Alternative routes to Antarctica: ExWeb’s interview with Rune Gjeldnes (2007)

Rune Gjeldnes plays Amundsen in a BBC series: “The unlucky ones were Scott’s men” (2006)

Video: Dreamcatchers Rune Gjeldnes, Cecilie Skog and Ryan Waters (2012) for Polar Statistics and Rules of Adventure

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