Yukon adventurers complete trek across Greenland
Two Yukon men taking part in an Arctic kite-skiing expedition across Greenland's massive ice cap completed their 4,262-kilometre trek over the weekend.
Devon McDiarmid and Derek Crowe of Whitehorse, as well as British team leader Adrian Hayes, reached their finish point at the head of MacCormick Fiord near Qaanaq, Greenland, late Saturday night.
Their arrival capped off a 67-day journey across the full length of Greenland: from the Atlantic coast in the south, up to the northern Arctic coast, then west to MacCormick Fiord, on the Baffin Sea coast to the northwest.
Much of their expedition involved crossing the inland ice cap that covers 85 per cent of the country — a task that Hayes said was particularly gruelling in the last 10 kilometres toward the finish.
"I don't think anyone was quite prepared for it to be a 13-hour hike. Going through boulder fields, massive boulders, sleds getting stuck ... it wasn't easy at all," Hayes told CBC News Monday by satellite phone.
The trio kite-skiied when the winds were favourable, hauling 150-kilogram sleds with food and supplies.
After seeing ice and snow over the past 67 dayes, Hayes said he and his teammates are happy to see plant life again on the coast.
"We finally got down off this mountain to sort of a meadow right now, and it's a spectacular location with beautiful fiords, water," he said.
While the expedition is considered to be the "longest unassisted polar journey in history," according to its website, the trio's goal has been to raise awareness about climate change and environmental sustainability.
The expedition website reports that everyone is healthy and happy, albeit very tired.
McDiarmid and Crowe are expected to return to Whitehorse on Friday.