Greenland 2012 Blog
Updated: Fri 24 Aug 2012
Here you will find the latest up to date report from the Greenland Expedition team.
Day 26 - Friday 24th August
Today we toured Iceland Golden Circle. We had a great day saw active geisers, waterfalls and evidence of the continental divide also volcanic craters. We are now preparing for our flight home following our visit to the blue lagoon tomorrow. Final blog! Thanks to Michelle for uploading the messages and to all who followed our blog. See you tomorrow 8.10pm Terminal One at Heathrow. Ralph
Day 25 - Thursday 23rd August
The team had a good night sleep in a bed and spent the afternoon whale watching, saw a few minke whales. Now out for dinner at a pizza restaurant. Had a good day. All now looking forward to going home. The team wish Taran well following his good GCSE results also our good wishes to Conor who will open his results when he arrives home. By Ralph and David Grimes
Day 24 - Wednesday 22nd August
Today 22nd we packed our kit ready for our freight to the uk and our flight. We were finished by midday in readiness for our 6.20pm. We said our farewell to the kindly airport staff, Corbyn studied more geological samples added a few more to his collection the weight of which challenged the baggage handlers and plane! We landed at Reykjavik airport at 8.15pm and our waiting mini cab soon had us at our comfortable guest house. All now looking forward to our break in Iceland. Regards to all. Ralph
Day 23 - Tuesday 21st August
A windy north east wind made travel by rib difficult Eton were collected on two journyes to ittoqqotoormiit. We waited for a wind reduction and left for Constable Point air strip at 7.30pm we had a slow exciting finish! We all enjoyed the fair ground ride. We managed to return to the school before leaving and met with 15 year old students and their teacher who spoke excellent english and the link was established. We then visited the police station for a passport stamp then onto the weather station where we were entertained very well including the science of producing hydrogen, the technology attached to the weather balloon and its launching followed by an interesting tour. After our epic boat ride we arrived at our camp at 11pm. We now look forward to our break in iceland. All the team are well. Ralph
Day 22 - Monday 20th August
Today we have been busy around Ittmqqortoormit. We have met with the school head master and agreed a link protocol. We also visited a weather station where the geography team spoke with the manager obtaining useful data. We visited the museum. We shopped for all our food needs which will see up through to midday tomorrow when it is planned for us to return by inflatable ribs to Constable Point air strip. We will return to the school tomorrow and meet with the head and pupils on their first day back, we then plan to return to the weather station to see the launch of 12 hourly launch of the weather balloon and visit the data room. Evening meal is currently choi prepared by the cook team. Everyone is well. By Ralph.
Day 21 - Sunday 19th August
We camped at Constable Point airstrip last night and today we had a very long day successfully collecting water samples along Hurry Fjord. We have recently arrived at our bunk house accommodation which is very comfortable. The boys are sorting out tonights food. All doing very well. All looking forward to go out into town tomorrow and meeting Inuits. By Ardy Mohammadi
Day 20 - Saturday 18th August
We descended the final distance of our 135 km expedition today we were picked up by the boats at 1pm and now camping at Constable Point air strip preparing for our visit to Scoresbysund and water sampling tomorrow. Everyone is very pleased to have completed nearly 3 weeks trek. All happily playing cards and enjoying their music and familiar comforts such as running water and a toilet! Best wishes to all. Ralph
Day 19 - Friday 17th August
Today we carried technical equipment to base camp and on arrival we found the main store tent shattered from
yesterdays storm. After playing with boulders we returned to camp two at three pm for a relaxing afternoon. Weather is blue sky and now looking forward to Ittoqqotoormit and ocean acidification project when we finish trek tomorrow. Hi to all families and followers. By David Grimes.
Day 18 - Thursday 16th August
Greenland is a beatiful place and words to describe it are serene, breath taking and tranquil but after this mornings very high winds which damaged a couple of tents it can also be volatile. Hi to parents. Everyone is doing well and weather improving. By Taran Chowdhry.
Day 17 - Wednesday 15th August
Today was our final day on the glacier ice climbing on the snout. The climb was steep and two of the routes had over hangs. The ice walk is vertical and had soft ice on top of hard ice which made it slippery. We have spent this afternoon packing up camp ready for our departure tomorrow. Everyone is tired and morale is high. Looking forward to seeing you all soon. By Adam Woolley
Day 16 - Tuesday 14th August
I have just spoken to Ralph all sound in excellent spirits, the boys are doing brilliantly, we hope to be able to update some of the missing blogs. But in the mean time todays news is:
We have just returned from another hard trek across the ice cap further than all previous occasions 19 km and climbed two spectacular peaks with great sea views. We left camp early today to cross the crevassed area whilst frozen that was our final trek. We have plenty to do tomorrow near camp. All team are well and very excited. By Ralph.
Day 15 - Monday 13th August
Today was a local day studying rock types and glacial features near to our advanced base camp. Tomorrow we plan our final big day on the ice cap and start our descent and return to our fjord pick up on Saturday. All team well and in good spirits. Project work also good. By Ralph Durbridge.
Day 14 - Sunday 12th August
We crossed the ice cap again today and achieved Tarandeep's peak. We crossed many crevasses and we were roped together in three teams putting all our crampon skills to the test. Hi to all the parents from the team. By Corbyn Hales.
Day 13 - Saturday 11th August
After an excellent but tough day yesterday we have had an easier day today. Climbed a nearby top in the morning and this afternoon has been catching up on washing and project work. By Simon Baker.
Day 12 - Friday 10th August
The best days are always the tiring ones. Today we achieved 3 beautiful peaks which coincide with our primary objective. Team skills are still developing well. All is ok. We met with Eton College team today all nice boys. By Conor Taylor
Day 11 - Thursday 9th August
Today was a rest day, the team woke for breakfast at normal time some returned to bed others washed. Ardi, David, Solly and myself braved the cold. The Chinese noodle helicopter re- supplied us with food, the pilot was in a rush so he threw the box of food at Mr Durbridge and Simon and flew off. The rest of the day was spent eating sleeping and playing cards. Hi to Mum and Dad hope you enjoyed the Olympics. Transmission by Adam.
Day 10 - Wednesday 8th August
We set off early to camp three with more kit and today we stepped onto the glacier at 11.30am. We practiced using crampons and ice axe and being roped together. We then trekked to a peak now called Grimesburg which is also to be a good navigation aid. We descended back to camp two. All well.
Day 9 - Tuesday 7th August
Today we moved our food to Camp 3 and took advantage of the location and spent our first day trekking on the glacier even managing to reach Mount Grimesberg so named by me David Grimes a 3000ft peak peak. We then returned to Camp 2 before moving tents tomorrow. Conversation descended to talking about dead pets and Mr Durbridge joining our card group he is quite good! An excellent day. All well. by David Grimes.
Day 8 - Monday 6th August
We moved into camp two after a heavy haul. We travelled via a beautiful scenic point now named Llewellyn View after Mr Durbridge. We gained views along Kalkdal, Bodal and Hodal river valleys and the glacier snout of the bodal, full of geography! A great day. All well.
Day 7 - Saturday 5th August
Today we climbed further towards the glacier and moved camp now at camp two. We climbed two peaks today named after Solly and Corbyn with outstanding views of the glacier. All well.
Day 6 - Friday 4th August
All doing well. all food and technical kit at Camp 2. Welcome wash in a stream and wind to keep mosquito bites low. All team in good spirits. Ralph
Day 4 - Wednesday 1st August
We will remain at our camp alongside Hurry Fjord until Saturday while we continue to shuttle equipmemt and supplies to the glacier. During one ascent today we climbed our first peak which will be named after Kiran Patel the first to the summit. All doing well. By Kiran Patel.
Day 3 - Tuesday 31st July
Early start to transfer to Snorri's Guesthouse, very welcoming and much more comfortable. For lunch we went to a restaurant that prided in a very unusual way of presenting soup. The soup was put inside a bowl made of bread, it was delicious but only few were victorious. Following this was a team building exercise focussing on personal strength and goals in preparation for the expedition, all this was in Heber which is a concert hall. Also the team had a kit action session for arrival at constable point tomorrow. For dinner we had pizza and many of us are raring to go to Greeland tomorrow.
Day 2 - Monday 30th July
After a well deserved lie in, we had a nice breakfast and rather filling lunch. Upon finishing we were enthused to visit a whale 'phallalogical museum' then to a cathedral which offered an aesthetically pleasing view of the city. A few hours later we went to a restaurant which provided to be a very pleasing evening. A debriefing later and we were off to bed. All is well and we are all looking forward to the rest of the expedition. (by conor taylor )
Day 1 - Sunday 29th July
We have heard from Ralph that the team have arrived in Reykjavik and are booked into the Salvation Army hostel for tonight (Sunday) and tomorrow (Monday). They will then move on to Snorries Guest House in Scoresbysund on Tuesday 31st.
Night Before the Day of Departure
On a wonderful sunny evening everybody gathered at Sudbury to wish the team well on their adventure. The boys had a full day of final preperations and their excitement was clear to see.
The day of departure is getting closer !!!
As the boys enjoy a deserved rest after the pressure of exams and school work, their thoughts turn towards the day of departure.
On Saturday 28th July the team will gather at the School to go through the final checks and routines to be sure that they all know the roles they will play over the coming weeks.
Each team member has a specific responsibility and as a team they will prepare in the final hours.
Arrangements have been made for the team to "camp" at Sudbury and during the evening family, friends and supporters will gather to wish them luck on their adventure and toast their safe journey.
Ralph Durbridge will send routine text messages from the satellite phone which will be updated on this blog for your information. Please remember no photographs can be uploaded only text.
GREENLAND -Kalaallit Nunaat
When the expedition team arrives in Greenland from Reykjavik, Iceland the first place they will visit will be the town of SCORESBYSUND.
Like all places in Greenland Scoresbysund is known by more than one name, this is the Danish name but the East Greenlandic name is Ittoqqortoormiit. It is a settlement in the Sermersooq municipality in Eastern Greenland and in 2010 its population was 469.
The name Scoresbysund derives from the Arctic explorer and whaler William Scoresby who was the first to map the area in 1822.
The name "Ittoqqortoormiit" means "Big-House Dwellers" in the Eastern Greenlandic dialect. Ittoqqortoormiit is located on Liverpool Land, near the mouth of the northern shore of the Kangertittivaq fjord, which empties into the Greenland Sea.
The region is known for its wildlife, including polar bears, muskoxen and seals.
Food and Equipment begins the journey to Greenland
Ralph, accompanied by all the food and heavy equipment required for the Expedition, headed up to the Lake District this weekend to meet up with the rest of the Expedition Team to discuss final plans and logistics.
Everything steps up a gear as we look towards the departure date of the 29th August, with the boys finishing their final preparations making sure they have all those vital items such as foot powder & waterproof trousers, etc.
The final planning trip will take place on Saturday 7th July where the boys will finalise all their schedules, plans and responsibilities.
The Lake District – 2nd to 5th June 2012
As part of their final training the boys headed off to the Lake District to Striding Edge, Helvellyn to experience Narrow Ridge Exposure. Through working together in this beautiful but challenging environment the team also completed a 19km trek carrying full packs of 19 kilos in weight so cementing the team spirit between the boys that will play such a vital role in the success of this expedition.
The Count Down Begins
As the day of departure fast approaches thoughts turn to the adventure ahead. The boys have almost completed all of their training; the expedition team is all in place and final preparations for food and equipment are almost complete.
The support the boys have received from their families, the School and their classmates and friends has really lifted their spirits through some difficult training sessions and they appreciate what a fabulous opportunity this is for them.
Training & Acclimatisation
The training programme that the boys have undertaken has been comprehensive and challenging. They have faced situations that most school boys can only dream of and have proven to be responsible and mature young men, totally prepared for this expedition.
In May 2011 they climbed Tryfan, Snowdonia for training in all rock and hands on scrambling
July 2011 saw the group in the Swiss Alps undertaking some of the more challenging training in high altitude, glacier ascending and descending using crampons and ice axes, and most importantly of all crevasse rescue training.
During October and December, in preparation for the extreme weather conditions and exposed camping environments, the boys trained in Cardedd, Snowdonia and Brecon undertaking isolation training, wild camping, extreme weather training and a dehydrated food trial.
The training does not stop when at School, weekly sessions with Ralph keep the boys alert and aware of all the challenges that await them.
Keys skills the boys have had to learn and practice continuously include:
Safe & effective use of an Ice Axe
Working as a team, roped together in the harness system
Safe and effective use of crampons
Walking in B2 Scarpa Boots
Geodesic Tents – the chosen tent construction for these extreme conditions
Use of MSR stoves – a vital tool of survival in these conditions
Planning & Fundraising
Preparation for the expedition has not just revolved around survival training, the boys have been involved in the planning and logistics of the expedition right from the start. They have been part of the decision making process regarding equipment, food and resources; held planning sessions with the Expedition Leadership Team including Paul Walker and Simon Baker, the technical advisor; and planned the research element of the expedition with Dr Helen Findlay of Plymouth Marine Laboratory.
The expedition has been funded by parents, private donations, grants and money raised by the boys themselves, who have undertaken a variety of activities to include raffles, a quiz night, cake sales, auctions and bag packing.
In October 2011 the boys undertook a Sledge Pull around Hyde Park, the money raised was divided between the expedition and the charity, Scotts Hutt Antarctica.
The team would like to thank the Watford Chamber of Commerce who invited one of the group members to present at a recent business networking event, and for their continued interest and support.