As many of you may have read about in various publications, I will be on the ice this spring on the vast Greenland icecap. In a really exciting venture and a deviation from my usual expedition style I'll be attempting, with my team-mate Wilki, to break the long-standing speed record for crossing the 350-mile icecap.
This expedition has been put together at fairly short notice following the request from the backers of my ground-breaking expedition originally planned for this season to delay until 2012. This is in order to maximise the benefits and build a larger network of partners in order to do the expedition justice - something I'm equally excited about.
I'm not usually attracted to speed records but have been captured by this athletic test of skiing skill and polar routine efficiency. The record itself is not 100% confirmed, with some attributing it to Sjur Mordre in 1995 (8 days 9 hours) and others to Trond Hilde, Ivar Tollefsen and Odd Harald Hauge in 2002 (8 days 12 hours). Either way it's, unsurprisingly, a Norwegian record and we'll aim to finish faster than 8 days 9 hours.
The challenge is immense and will require long days of over 18 hours skiing, little sleep and a small dose of luck. We are entirely aware of the sheer class and calibre of those previous speed skiers and will stand at our start point on the coast very confident but equally humble.
Unlike the 2002 team who travelled in the late summer in August, we will use the classic spring time window of April. This may increase the possibility of storms and very low temperatures but will help ensure a better skiing surface than experienced in summer months. In particular, the icefall on the west coast leading to Point 660 (the western extent of the icecap) has become much worse in recent years with meltwater and turbulent 20 ft high blocks of ice. Earlier is better and we hope to travel the 10 miles or so of difficult ice fairly rapidly.
We'll have satellite contact throughout the expedition and will appreciate any messages of support! I'll post the link here nearer the expedition start date.
More soon and thanks to all who have made contact regarding the project.