Luminox Arctic World Records
Double World Record Attempt
BOTH ATTEMPTS NOW PAST - POSTPONED (Greenland) and COMPLETED (Svalbard)
A Q&A session with Alex (c.12mins)
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ROUTE TWO - SVALBARD, HIGH ARCTIC - 24 hours non-stop
What’s the plan?
Around the weekend of 23/24th Feb, I plan to head out into the valleys of Svalbard to attempt a 24hr ski record on natural surfaces. I’ll have with me a lightweight sledge with only the essentials. Most likely to start around 6pm, this will mean I have the best of the limited daylight in the most tricky section of the route. There’s a blizzard forecast for the day I arrive, so wish me luck and follow my progress on special media and the tracker above! (updated every 15mins after launch)
UPDATE - ROUTE TWO - SVALBARD POLAR SKI
Alex completed c.69km over challenging terrain, with strong headwinds and poor visibility, in under 24 hours.
ROUTE ONE - GREENLAND’S ARCTIC CIRCLE TRAIL - 165km from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut
What is the Arctic Circle Trail?
A route between the Greenlandic settlement/runway of Kangerlussuaq and the coastal town of Sisimiut. Since the runway was created, local Inuit have used this route to shuttle between settlements with dog teams and latterly, snowmobiles. My local Greenlandic friends have told me, as of 30 Dec, that the trail hasn’t been travelled yet this season so-as to create a snow track.
Over the last decade or two, it has become a well-known but sparsely-trodden summer hiking route. The terrain varies between barren lowlands, lakes and steep mountainous areas. In early January, Alex’s typical preference for mid-winter conditions, there will be just four hours of sunlight, and a few more of twilight.
What is the current speed World Record?
As is normal with Arctic and Antarctic records, there can be some vagueness with currently held records and definitions. Two skiers, Antin and Chambers, skied the route in March 2018 (spring-time in practical terms) in 3 days, 12 hours and 3 minutes. Anecdotal stories suggest locals have made the journey in around 3-5 days on foot during the summer months. A typical experienced hiker takes 7-10 days.
What’s your plan?
I’ll be skiing the trail twice, from east to west first. Much of the detail will be defined by the weather and my own performance. If I’m able to set a clear record time on the first leg that I’m content with, I’ll use the return leg to ski slower and with fewer hours in the dark - taking the chance to film and photograph.
More likely though is that I’ll ski the outside leg fast but not ‘top speed’ - assessing the route, potential dangers and marking GPS waypoints to help me on the way back. Then, I’ll be free to power my way from Sisimiut, and not miss my flight home!
What’s the point?
Excellent question. If you are open to the idea that Arctic ski journeys have intrinsic value, aside from other offshoots like surveying or education, then the purposes for these short journeys are two-fold - first to showcase the deadly-serious truth behind Luminox’s mantra that #EverySecondCounts, and the second for me to ‘hard test’ a number of systems and items of equipment I want to utilise on longer journeys. Examples are custom made ski bindings, new vapour barriers, and an array of electronic custom rigs.
UPDATE - ROUTE ONE - GREENLAND’S ARCTIC CIRCLE TRAIL
*After 10 days on location and constantly assessing the route, the journey was postponed due to excessive snow making the trail impassable at speed*