Saturday, March 03, 2007

Snow Kiting Greenland

What is snow kiting?

For any dedicated blog followers, you might have seen the pictures of a really big kite strapped to me in the right hang sidebar. Well, add skis or a snowboard to the equation and you get snow kiting. The sport involves taking a very large kite (mine was 17m^2) and then using it to propel you, or send you flying. Some of the jumps possible are very extreme.


Strapping yourself to an airborne sail can be used as a very effective mode of transportation. With no gas and no motor, you can move at speeds of around 60km per hour on flat land if the wind is right. All you really need is flat land, snow and wind. Where can you find all this? In Greenland.

That is what one team of adventurers did. They strapped themselves to kites and set out to cross Greenland from the North to the South in less than 40 days. They ended up setting the speed record for crossing snow… twice (once early in the expedition and then a huge record in the end). The whole trip took an astonishing 21 days for 2300km. The new 24hour record the team set was 442.7km in one day, demolishing the old record of 271.

I would love to do something like this myself, with a team of friends. To one up this first team of course, I propose using sleds instead of skis. The team reported large strains on their knees and had to drag their supplies behind them in winter sleds anyways. I propose crossing the kite buggy with a sled to make the kite sled and using that to beat their time. With bigger kites, it would also be possible to drag two people per sled at considerable speed and have them alternate sleeping and driving, thus minimizing stop time. I doubt I will ever be able to do such a trip myself, but I will defiantly take the opportunity if it is presented.

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Blogger dino said...

That's really cool. Reminds of James Bond.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

If you ever get the chance to do this, Artem, don't forget Jesse!

5:06 PM  
Blogger Oli said...

And Oli! Oli want in!

And by that I also mean damn, that is some sweet stuffs.

8:50 PM  

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