Call from Thomas, Isortoq:
Yesterday we slept in a hut at a bay north of Isortoq. In the morning we had to walk across the frozen sea towards a little island, where a fishermen picked us up with the boat. One of the girls fell in to the cold sea, we pulled her out at once and she hade to change her clothes. On the way to Isortoq we saw polar bears. We are staying at a community building. We spent the day eating the left overs. Then we packed our equipment. The pulkas will go by boat to Denmark. At night we went for a stroll through Isortoq. A small village with 70 inhabitants and twice as much dogs. Tomorrow morning a helicopter will take a via Tassilaq to Kulusuk. Then we are going to take the plane to Iceland. on Wednesday we will fly home.
Todays highlight - a hot shower!
They reached the coast today. The call was hard to understand.
Call from Thomas, position 65.58.590 north 39.18.354 west
"We made 28km today. In the morning it was cloudy , then the sun came out and it got very hot. We walked in our underwear again. It was hard today. We were exhausted, tired and not used to the heat. In the afternoon we discovered the first mountains at the horizon. Later we saw the sea and drifting icebergs on the water. Now there is a beatiful sunset. Tomorow we will get up early and try to reach Isortoq, because the weather is expected to be bad the following days. See you"
Call from Birgit, position 65.54.34,5 north 39.50.56,2 west, 1400m above sealevel
"We went 32,5km today. In total we made almost 490km. Only 50km left.
This was a great day. It started with mist and snow but then the sun came out and it was warm again. The snow stuck to our skis. During our second break we had a little birthday party for Hannes. Christopher, a Norwegian, had brought a cake from at home just in case. And this was the perfect oportunity. We all got a piece of chocolate cake and sung song for Hannes. Later this day it was Christmas time for all of us. We reached the Norwegian food depot. Bengt, my dear friend Bengt, ordered food for us, too-and toilet paper. We were so happy and the best, there wasn´t just dry food again, no there were choclatebuns and vanilla..... And there was bread and butter and salami. All flewn in for us. We just sat down in the snow and gobbled all those delicious things down. After our feast we had a nap on our sleds.
Today it was real down hill skiing. You had to watch youselft not to get run over by the sled. We are all so happy to go finally downhill after all this pulling.
If the weather forcast is good there are two normal days ahead. If not, we´ll try to do it in one long day.
We are in an area were heavy storms occur, cold winds falling down from the ice to the sea, and we try to stay as short as possible in this dangerous zone. We already now that there is no ice on the bay below. So we don´t have to walk any further, we just take the boat. Thanks for typing this. See you."
Call from Birgit, position 65.58.52,6north 40.32.37,8west, 1680 m above sealevel
"Hello this is Birgit calling. Today we made 30,4km. It was the first time we noticed going downward. We walked for 12 hours in the proven Norwegian rhythm. 60 minutes walk,12 minutes break and 45 minutes break at noon. Today it was sunny and pretty warm and the snow was wet and sticky. Many members of our group got problems, because the snow stuck to their skis. It´s time to express my thanks to my friend Thomas Ulrich who adviced me on my skis. I think mine are the best. And many thanks for my Pulka it´s running pretty good. I also want to thank Katharina and Marlene for all the little notes I found in my food bags. The bags my Mom made for me. All those little things a very important on trip like this. Another day with perfect weater and golden light in the morning and in the evening. A perfect day. It´s pretty late now but we are going out for dinner. We eat with the group at Bengt´s tent. Ciao"
call from Thomas, position 66.04.303 north 41.10.815 west
This call was hard to understand, a lot of noise in the bachground
" We spent another day with the Norwegian and joined their time shedule. Wake up call at 6 o´clock, start at 8 o´clock, exactly 12 minutes break after 60 minutes walk and so on. We made 27km and are now 108km from the icefall. We are positiv to reach Isortoq on Monday.
Call from Birgit, 66.07.43north 41.46.01 west, 2125 m above sealevel
Hello there. As you can see we lost 160m height, but we still don´t notice going downhill. Today there was a positiv change in our Arctic life and real joy. We met Bengt, a Norwegian friend of mine, and his group. Yesterday evening Bengt called and asked if we were walking blind folded. The had seen us and expected us to put up our tent for the night with them. This morning we got up at 6 in order to catch up with them. We found there camp and now we are not alone anymore. We spent the day with them and had lots of fun.There are 3 Norwegians, a Dutch and 2 Chinese women.They have a real good walking modus, and they even put up a tent at noon to have lunch, to rest and to enjoy the Arctic surroundings. So we made 27.6km for the first time in real good mood. We decided to stay with the group. It feels good.. Time is geeting short, but I think we will make it until our flight leaves. Ciao.
Call from Thomas, position 66.12.077 north 4?.21 12 west, 2282 m above sealevel
The wind calmed down during the morning and we made 24 km today. It was difficult to walk today because of the sastrugis (formations made by wind and snow). If you are wondering about our food and fuel supplies, don´t worry we still got enough. And there is a food depot on our way............. There is also toilett paper, wich is important for Birgit ;) I hope you are fine. And I should tell you there is a polar bear lying on Birgit´s legs.
Call from Thomas, position 66.17.154 north 42.50.470 west, 2386m above sealevel
We made 27.6km with strong following wind. Now we are waiting for dinner again and it is still pretty windy. Yesterday there was a bit of confusion because our permit expired on the 21st of May. We told the rescue organisation and the police that the date is wrong but the information got stuck and MRCC contacted our emergency contact person to ask for our whereabouts. However we talked to them today and we hope to reach Isortoq on the 1st of June. So you don´t have to worry we are under supervision. Now our trip comes to an end, we are going downwards and are looking forward to reach the Eastcoast.
Call from Birgit, position 66.23.302 north 43.24.606 west, 2463m above sealevel
(This call was hard to understand)
"After the rest day we made 26.75 km within 9 hours and passed the highest point of our trip at 2500 m. It´s downhill now:), but it still feels very flat. Today was another day in Arctic wonderland and we could glide along in pefect sunshine. Here is our wishlist for the time at home. Birgit: a bed with clean fresh sheets, normal trousers and her family, Thomas: a big piece of meat ............. Hannes: fresh fruit and lying in the green gras. "
PS: They plan to reach Isortoq on the 1st of June.
Call from Thomas:
"Hello. Because we are already delayed and won´t reach Isortoq on 28.05. we decided to take a rest for a day, to regain new streght and to recharge the accumulators for the satellite phones. We just sat in the sun and enjoyed the peace and the endless white horizon.Tomorrow we will start in direction to Isortoq."
Call from Birgit, position 66.25.313 north44.00.208 west, 2466 m above sealevel
"Hello. After the early stop in the snowstorm yesterday we had a stormy night .......
In the morning there was less wind than expected and we could go on. .......we made 24km. This lifted our spirit and was good for our motivation......
People told me Greenland would be easier than the "last degree" to North Pole, but I can´t agree. It is true we are not drifting backwards but it is a very long way to go. .... The landscape is extremly monotonous. I now can imagine people going crazy living on research stations in this environment. .....
Tomorrow will be the last day uphill and then- hopefully- we will be faster, downwards, with our pulkas less heavy. In any case, there will be a lot of dark chapters in my book. And now it´s dinner time again. Ciao."
Call from Hannes, position 66.29.504 north 44.30.390 west, 2377m above sealevel
"This is Hannes calling. The wind force is about 7 right now, that is near gale ..... We left our camp in good weater conditions, but it clouded over during the day, and at the end we walked in a snowstorm. Because of the strong headwind we decided to put up the tent after 16.8km. If the weather is good tomorrow we will proceed- if not we have to think about what do do. It is not too cold. There are two day´s march to the Saddle. Many thanks to the blog team for all their work. Ciao"
Call from Thomas, position 66.32.536 north 44.42.007 west
"Hello again. Another great day, sunshine almost all day long, in the evening a belt of clouds passed by.Todays trip was like a stroll through the Louvre, all around us artwork made of snow and ice by the artists sun and wind. We are all feeling good and are hoping to reach the Saddle in about three days.Then its only downhill:). Today we made 22km and reached 2333m above sealevel."
Call from Thomas, position 66.34.441 north 45.21.523 west
"Hello, we are calling from the ice again. Today was a terrific day, blue sky all day. We were able to lay our track like a straight line across the ice. The snow was pressed hard and we made 22km and reached 2255m above sealevel. Now we are heading for the Saddle (2400m), we still have 89km to go.... Then we will be at the other side of the mountain. Guess what? We are waiting for dinner :)."
call from Birgit, position
"Hello, it´s me again. We enjoyed a relaxed mornig at DYE 2 station. There would be a lot to tell, but you will be able to read about in my book.
Surprise- we were not alone. We met Carl. He offered to take our waste back to Kangerlussuaq, and we happily accepted his offer.We rearranged our pulkas and they lost a few kilos weight. Then I made a deal, as it only occures in the Arctic. I asked for some toiletpaper and got a whole role from Carl. What should I give to him? I decided to give him a flower and enclosed flowerpot I got from a colleague at home. Carl, he is from Australia, put it in front of his tent and said:" Beach life starts now."At 11.30 we set off again. In the beginning it was sunny, then there was mist again. At the end of the day we put up our tent under three suns.We are feeling good. See you."
Call from Thomas, position 66.29.553north 46.18.965 west
(This call was hard to understand)
" ................We put up our tent in the windshield of DYE 2 station. This morning there was snowfall and whiteout again, heavier than ever. The visibility was close to zero. We had tail wind (northwind) pretty cold. The Americans left lots of cans and biscuits, so we could have a feast tonight. But we are staying with our Adventure food. Until tomorrow."
Call from Birgit; position 66.05.175 north 46.41.565 west
" Hello, it´s me, Birgit. May the 17 th was a good day. We made 20km within 9 hours and are now 19.8km from DYE 2. We got up in whiteout again, around noon it got lighter and we saw a huge halo around the sun- fantastic.. The mist faded away and we admired the marvelous white and blue landscape. It is a honor to be here. Sometime this day a bird flew toward us, it was small and weak and obviously happy to meet us. It came down and sat in the windshield of Hannes´ pulka. What should we do? Hannes dug a hole to protect the bird from the wind an he gave it half an Oat Snack. Maybe this will give the little one enough energy to reach the coast. Around noon it got warm and we could walk without gloves. In the evening the temperature drops rapidly and the nighttemperature is about -15°C. But it is nice and cosy in our sleepingbags. Tomorrow we will reach DYE 2. I´m worried about my weightloss and my Achilles tendon is hurting. I´m not getting younger. The rest of us is fine.-Hannes wants a watertap right now, he is fed up with melting snow:). That´s it, see you tomorrow."
call from Thomas, position 66.48.468 north 44.04.531 west
" Hi there, it´s dinnertime again. We walked in whiteout this morning. In the afternoon, as the sun came out and we found skitracks in the snow, we were so motivated we almost shot over todays mark. 40 km to DYE 2. This morning, when we were still lying in our seepingbags there was a loud sharp crack. Hannes got up to check the tent. A pole was broken. We decided the tent would withstand the windpressure and went back to sleep. I think we have to sleep twice until we reach DYE 2."
Call from Thomas, position 66.44.011 north 47.27.209 west
"We are having dinner and are watching our gloves drying. We walked in the whiteout all day. The way is easy to find, I just follow the two lines on my skis :) . We walked by the compass all day and made 20km, now there are only 60km left to DYE 2. If we are luky we will see it tomorrow. See you."
Call from Birgit, position 66.52.368 north 47.50.40 west
"Today we made 20km within 8.5 hours, and reached 1627m above sealevel. In total we made 102.5 km. We woke up in whiteout, the visibility is almost down to 0. After 4 hours I gave parts of my luggage to Thomas and Hannes. I never thought I would do so, but I was to slow with my pulka heavier than me. I learned my lessons about teamwork and teamspirit. Now it´s easier for me and it´s almost fun to walk through storm and whiteout. We had to walk by the compassa all day long. Tonight the boys fixed the cooker, a noozle was blocked. It´s not cold but there is a stong breeze and heavy snowfall now. Ciao"
Call from Thomas, position 66.58.41 north 48.13.644 west
"We are settling down for the night. This was another day of sunshine, but cold enough to put on the hood.We made 19km, still 99km to DYE 2.Today we saw tracks in the snow, maybe from the Norwegians. The pulkas are loosing weight, but it sometimes feels like they are trying to hold us back."
Call from Birgit, position 67.02.936 north 48.36.500 west
"This night Hannes closed the zipper of his sleepingbag for the first time, it was -20°C. Today we walked for 8 hours, we made 18,8 km and reached 1378m above sealevel. There are still 119 km left to DYE 2 research station.The last day we walked through dunes, the peaks blue ice, in the valleys fresh windblown snow.Since we changed from crampons to skis we always stayed in the valleys. Around us are different shades of white, there is no land as far as we cann see. We are still draging our 70kg-pulkas uphill, but we left the dangerous zone of crevasses. We talked to Bengt, and he told us he sent a surprise to DYE 2.
Today, because it is sunday, I put on fresh underwear. Just imagine, Nansen only turned his underwear inside out on Christmas, he hadn´t brought any fresh one.
Best wishes for Mothersday!"
Call from Thomas, position 67.05.025 north 49.01.675 west
"Today we made 15,5km. We are about 1200 m above sealevel.Perfect hiking weather. The whole equipment, gloves, socks, seepingbags , is dry. Today we walked in our underwear, Hannes and Birgit let their pants down. Dinner is ready, everything is fine."
Call from Hannes, position 47.08.007north 49.21.57,8 west
"Hi there. After looking for snow and putting up our tent we are sitting in the sun. Our equipmnt is drying, Birgit is writing in her diary.This was a good day for walking. The snow was drifting and there was a veil of mist, it looked mystic. We are only 150 km from the American radar station DYE 2. Now we have to melt snow for our dinner. See you."
Call from Birgit, position 64.08.43 North 49.40.20 West, 6.30 pm
"Yesterday the Arctic showed itself at it´s best. After 8 hours of hard work we put up the tent under the blue sky, we sat in the entrance of our tent and let the sun warm us. We needed no gloves or mittens and we took lots of pictures of the shimmering blue ice. The conditions are just perfect.
Today we made about 8,7km as the crow flies, the real distance was about 15km. We had to take many detours crossing riverbeds made by the melting ice, steep valleys and hills. We had to drag, pull and lift our pulkas across them and we even needed the rope and the icesrews. Hannes broke his ski and now we will try to fix it. We are waiting for dinner. Live ist wonderfull!"
Call from Thomas:
"Our new position is 67.08.077.49.42.285. We made about 5,2 km as the crow flies through the icefall. During the night and in the morning it was snowing. Now the sun is shining and there is about 10cm of fresh powdersnow. We put up the tent. Good night."
Call from Thomas:
Today we made 2,4km. The truck couldn´t take us to point 660, because there was to much snow. It was pretty hard work to drag the heavy pulka sleds along the steep and stony road. Now we are at the beginning of the ice, between crevasses in a frozen river bed. The place is nice and cozy. It is almost warm , +1°C. The food was good, we are fine."
Hurray! Birgit, Hannes and all their laguage arrived in Kangerlussaq.
"Within minutes the room at the Polar Lodge was a big mess. After two ours of packing we were ready for a break. We had musk ox burgers, chips and salad at the cafeteria at the aiport. At 7pm we have finished packing and are looking forward to met Bengt for dinner-maybe musk ox again:). Bengt went to the North Pole with Birgit in 2011.
Tomorrow we will take the taxi truck to the ice border.
The weather is great- sunshine,+2°C, light breeze.
Call from Thomas:
“The weather isn´t as good as yesterday, there are some clouds but still there is sun. Yesterday´s snow is gone. I got the tent ready yesterday, the poles are taped together and the tent looks like a huge sausage about 2 m long. While I put in the second floor it got pretty warm in the tent, so I think it will be nice and comfortable during the tour. Earlier I talked to Kim , who took the Norwegians to point 660. He told me, there is lots of fresh snow, and he thinks there is no water yet, so the conditions are good so far. He thinks we could go straight to the East with no detour to the North around the crevasses. I visited the weather service, and we could check the weather forecast via satellite during the tour. I also talked to Kim about the Piteraqs at the East coast, we have the advantage to go downwards and so we will be fast and don´t have to stay in this area for to long. See you soon.”
Call from Thomas:
“It´s a fantastic morning, -12°C, sunshine, blue sky, perfect weekend weather. There´s just a bit of fresh snow, about 3 or 4 cm, just like icing sugar. When I arrived at Kangerlussuaq yesterday, I first got our 11 parcels- everything got there, and I already bought the fuel. Right now, I´m enjoying the perfect weather, the tremendous view – and I´m looking forward to the tour.See you soon.”