A total of fourteen Icelandic cross-country skiers are set to embark on a trip to cross the Greenland ice sheet. The trip will be led by mountain guides Einar Torfi Finnsson and Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir, with each leading their own team and set to undergo two separate journeys in opposite directions.
Speaking to mbl.is before heading off to Greenland, Finnsson explains, “We’ll probably meet east of the center, close to the highest point of elevation.” Finnsson is leading a group of six and crossing the ice sheet from east to west. Gissurardóttir is leading a team of eight, heading west to east.
The journey is set to last between 21 and 24 days, with a route totaling a distance of 550-km (340-mi). For Finnsson, this marks his fifth time crossing Greenland’s ice sheet, the first time being 26 years ago.
Finnsson comments that there have been significant changes at the glacier’s edges, commenting, “The glacier has retreated and become much thinner.”
On the decision to take the path of east to west, Finnsson states, “Doing it this way felt more logical, having the starting point close. Besides, the katabatic [i.e., downslope] wind will be at our back for a longer time, and this saves us the trouble of starting by crossing a glacier tongue.”