Robert and Heidi Clover will kite cross the Greenland ice sheet

March 2, 2011 | Kiteboarding

Greenland: cold as ice

Robert and Heidi Clover are preparing for a serious kite challenge. Serious and cold adventure. The couple aim to kitesurf across the Greenland ice sheet, in a 1,400 kilometre journey. The snowkite expedition will depart from Ilulissat, on the West coast of Greenland, to Qaanaaq, on the North coast, using kites and skis.

The passionate kitesurfers will be carrying everything they need to survive, in pulks – food, tents, stoves, sleeping bags and equipment. The Greenland challenge will be tried in May. They might complete the trip in 17 days, more or less.

"We are therefore hoping for favorable winds throughout the 17 day crossing, as any windless periods mean we have to make up the lost time by kiting when wind is on, until we are too exhausted to continue. The route we have chosen will take us through the windiest part of the Greenland ice, and it has been described by a kite paradise by Sarah McNair-Landry", Robert and Heidi tell in their official website.

The Clovers are expecting several risks. The biggest risk is injury from a crash, as they will be traveling up to 30 mph. Also, the coastal areas around the ice cap carry a crevasse risk, so a climbing harness that enables roping up and rescue in crevasse areas is essential.

The local weather also means hypothermia and frostbite, as temperatures are expected to drop to -30C with wind chill on top of that. To minimize risk of frostbite and cold Robert and Heidi will be equipped with the best Arctic expedition clothing. Proceeds goto charity.

The couple started training in June 2010, mixing cardio and strength work, running and lifting weights in the back garden. They live in South Devon and have recently spent a week cross country skiing in Finland in -25C, where they also had the opportunity to test the 10m Ozone Manta.

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