April 26–May 2

These days saw us despairing that we’d never get past a certain patch of open water, and then we found a series of ice islands and scampered across. And then we got caught in a massive dead end. But we’re pushing hard for the Greenland coast and moving over a difficult terrain when the weather allows.

So, with the advantages of Polar Day, we are moving without regard to the clock. Some of us are quite tired now because of taking shifts and sleeping in moving cars. However, the team is making progress. In the last 12 hours, we’ve crossed, among other things, some huge ice ridges and an area of new ice in a frozen lead that was just enough to hold some of our vehicles up but not others. We disconnected all the trailers and had to pull them from shore to shore, two Yemelyas as well.

We are probably in the most difficult terrain of the whole Arctic ice crossing: still on the moving ocean ice, but in the last 50km where the southerly current and wind push it up against the “fast” ice that is stuck to the Greenland coast. It’s littered with old pack ice that has been pushed south too, so it’s a vast ice junkyard - maybe the hardest terrain in the Arctic. And it’s late in the season and getting warm, so this is where we pull out ALL our tricks - picks, shovels, ladders, floating, muscles - to get over the terrain. Honestly we’re all pretty tired. But we’re looking at the line of the fast ice off the shore of Greenland as salvation.
Expedition diary Stage 2