Web-Friser620 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 skiexpedition at that time. 2940 km in 86 days. It was an true SEA – AIR – LAND expedition. And still maybe the best I have been on, and still very proud of it´s complexity and management and execution.

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Almost 3000 km. 86 days. Handshake at Cape Morris Jesup, at the Sirius Patrol hut on the Cape.  Well done, and thanks for a nice trip Torry! What´s next? 

Eight years had gone since I, as a 16 years old boy, got the idea about becoming the first to cross Greenland lenghtways in its full length. Finding Torry to join on the expedition was the best gift and faith, an comming explorer could get. The expedition was totally new. A new route. A new type of execution. Both in air, on land and at sea. The main thing, it was on NEW TRACKS! No one had tried it.

Picked up and back in Resolute Bay. With the legendary pilot Carl, First Air.

Picked up and back in Resolute Bay. With the legendary polarpilot, Carl Zberg, from First Air.

As a training trip, Torry and I had crossed Greenland, from Umanaq on the western side of Greenland to Isertoq on the eastern side, about 870 km, two years earlier. After 8 years of dreaming, planning, preparing and training, we had reach the final goal. Many small steps, and some right once, had been done. One at the time. Taking the time to do something well.

Finally on our way towards the North and the final goal.

It was an very complex expedition, with the airdropp of all the gear, provision and ourself, in and onto the Inland iceplatau. Drop Zone at 1500 meters above sea level. It was not done before.

Cargo drop and explorer drop.

Cargo drop and Explorer drop.

Refueling above the Atlantic.

Refueling above the Atlantic.

There was a 180 km leg from the Drop Zone to Cape Farwell and back again, in fjords with ice and sudden winds. Climbing. Glaciers no-one has been on before. Were we prepared for that challenge? We could not, and never ever, have done this without very good help from our unit Marinejegerkommandoen, the 7 Special Operation Squadron USAF, our bosses and Admiral Jan G. Jæger, plus a long list of very good helpers and supporters.

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One of the crucial meeting before the expedition, with Admiral Jan G Jaeger.

We took off from Evenes airport Northern Norway with 7th SOS, the 18th of March and landed at Nararsuaq airfield, Greenland, the same day. 19th should become the big day at the Drop Zone.

One of the best view and feeling ever.

One of the best view and feeling ever.

The Landing and the Beginning.

The Landing and the Beginning.

Statistically this should be the best day concerning wind and weather,  in total. These, we have been looking into statistically 25 years of weather reports of the area. Early morning, we had the brief from the Captain on the MC-130, and the brief of our jump master mike mike. All good, but nervous!  All the cargo boxes where dropped at low-level altitude above the DZ, and we climbed to 12000 ft, and Torry and I tumbled out. Landed safe at the DZ on 1500 m.

C-130 ready for dumping the expedition gear.

C-130 ready for dumping the expedition gear.

One of the great achievements and results of the expedition was the co-operation with US. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medisin (USARIEM) and Norwegian FFI / Defense Research Establishment.

Dr. Per Christian Opstad in the middle. Cornel Carl Friedle on the left debating further tests.

Dr. Per Christian Opstad in the middle. Cornel Carl Friedle on the left debating further tests. Torry strapped to the bench behind. Thats good! 

Dr. Opstad (FFI) created the co-operation, and USARIEM saw the opportunity to do a good case-study on two soldiers, who were going to do an extreme long expedition in extreme environment. We had several days with testing before and after the expedition in Natick outside Boston. Not all was very pleasant, however it gave us a very good indication on where we stayed physical and got lots of good experiences and explanation on what happened with our body´s,  during the expedition.

Heavy water salvia test.

Heavy water salvia test.

On the expedition,  we had the pleasure to drink the most expensive drinks in the world: Heavy Water or Double Labeled Water, to figure out how much energy, our bodies were burning per day. Torry was measured up to 12000 kcal per day on the most heaviest day in the beginning. I was up on 9000. We where eating at the most 6000 kcal. That meant Torry could loos half a kilo of fat on at hard day, even eating his rations.

Torry is undertaking a new record on USARIEM´s obstacle course. Good fun!

 The whole research project came out in a scientific report.

Torry exposed after the expedition of 86 days and up to 12000 kcal burning per day.

Torry exposed after the expedition of 86 days and up to 12000 kcal burning per day. Not too bad!

We never reached Cape Farwell, for those who wants to try. One day from Cape Farwell, the ice conditions stopped us. If we went further, we could or would be caught in the force of the ice, and not be able to return. We had to take a hard decision. We turned, and headed North again.

One of the camp spot´s in the fjord system South Greenland.

One of the camp spot´s in the fjord system South Greenland.

We headed back to the Drop Zone. It was a total of 180 km kayaking, and then 50 km back up to the DZ.  The most beautiful and dangerous part of the trip was done, when we reached the glacier again.

From the DZ it was up and down on the Inlandice. We got a new blizzard and had to stay in the tent for five days with wind strength up in 26 m/s. That was plenty enough to just stay in the tent, on a unknown glacier. Nervous about the schedule, we continued uncertain on what was the next. We where just new guys! Our hope and trust laid on our weather research we have got from the Danish Metrologiacal Institutet.

The right wind came on the right latitude. At that time we had the first versions of the skisails, and we had Sjur Mørdres polar skiboots, whiteout support, but they where warm. On ordinary Back Country skies and Mørdres Alfa boots,  we had a record length of 175 km in a 24 hours sailing. It hurt. IT REALLY HURT! But, we saved energy and got further North. Today, this wind system is well known, and used by many kiters. The western side of Greenland is the world best place to do good skisailing.

June the first, we saw the mountains in Peary Land. It became, 300 kilometers through fantastic landscape. Fjords, mountain passes, glaciers, birdlife, mountains again and tracks from Moxox and Polarbear as well. We crossed some fjords with overflowing water, but luckily we arrived the area before the real melting started.

Last three days we had the Arctic Ocean on our lefthand side, and Greenland on the other. Nervous about the conditions ahead. But, 12th of June we reached our final goal. Cape Morris Jesup, and the most northern on land point in the world. It was no big celebration there and then. We did not know if our communication, ARGOS, has been working the last three months, but we were hoping. And it was working!

ARGOS. This was the only one way communication we had. No news from home during three months.

ARGOS. This was the only one way communication we had. No news from home during three months. Did it work?

Late in the evening next day, we could hear the Twin Otter from First Air, which was coming to pick us up. And for the first time in 87 days we could speak to someone else than ourself, and news from the civilization. That came from our expedition co-ordinator Tom Borgen and our author Jon Michelet. We already then, knew what the next expedition project would be. The Arctic Ocean was north of us.

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First beer after three months, and with the expedition autor in between us, Jon Michelet. It was then still allowed to smoke at Alert´s bar.