Kite-skiing trio break record in Greenland

Three men have claimed the world record for the longest kite-skiing expedition across Greenland’s ice cap. Derek Crowe and Devon McDiarmid from Canada and their British team leader Adrian Hayes were contacted this week by Guinness World Records which told them that their adventure in Greenland last year has been officially named as the longest unsupported snow-kiting expedition in the Arctic.

“It gives you a little charge, especially in November when we all need a little bit of a lift,” Crowe said in an interview with CBC News.

The 67-day journey, which ended on July 25 last year, saw the trio make a 3,120km straight-line crossing of Greenland’s ice cap. The team used only wind-powered kites to aid them as they skied from the country’s southern Atlantic coast to the northern Arctic coast and then back to the western coast. Most of the expedition was spent crossing Greenland’s ice cap which makes up a massive 85 percent of the country.

Crowe explained why he is doubtful that their record will be broken any time soon. “There’s a very good reason that that hasn’t been done before, because we were going uphill and upwind, and it was awful,” he said. “I still have the pain in my hips from the endless tacking that we did just back and forth, so I don’t know how you’d break the record.”

Crowe added, however, that much of the trauma has now been forgotten. “I have snapshots in my mind of flying across powdery snow, catching 20 feet of air and landing in a big puff of smoke, and just watching your buddies next to you just flying along,” he said. “Thankfully, the really hard times have sort of faded away and now you get to relive all the glory stuff,” he added.

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