American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Greenland, Greenland Ice Cap, East to West Solo Crossing

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997

Greenland Icecap, East to West Solo Crossing. Miroslav Jakes crossed the Greenland icecap solo from Johan Petersen Fjord on the east coast to the airport in Kangerlussuaq (Sondre Stromfjord) in the west. The route (ca. 600 kilometers) took him 30 days (September 6 October 5); 24 of them were spent on the ice. The traverse was done without support, without a radio and without anybody knowing about it. He used skis, a plastic sled and carried part of the weight on his back. For navigation he used a GPS and a compass. When he compares this trip with the one he made 12 years before on the same route with two companions (AAJ 1985, p.223), he finds this one the more demanding. This time he experienced much colder weather (though the traverse was started earlier) and worse visibility (which would have made navigation with an octant impossible); getting all the gear and food up to the icecap from the shore was much more exhausting and had to be done in three trips (only two were needed in 1984). To cross the crevasses near the west edge of the icecap was, as he expected, the most dangerous and feared part of the traverse. In spite of all that he was 11 days faster than the team of 1984.

Vladimír Weigner, Czech Republic

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