Wind Powered Greenland Crossing – Snowbuggy

Follow their progress

Dutch kite team to cross Greenland using a snowbuggy.

In 2006 Eric “MTwater”, initiator of the Snowbuggy Team, started dreaming of crossing Greenland using wind power and kites. Many crossings were and are still done on skis with the aid of wind powered kites.

Eric’s novel idea was to modify a kite buggy that he uses on the beach and replace the wheels with skis.
The “snowbuggy” concept was soon born and after several years of designing and field testing in Austria and Norway, finally in 2011 the 4th model proved to be an instant success.
Snowbuggy Team aims to cover at least 4.500 kilometres on Greenland in about 4 to 6 weeks.
Daily distance to cover will be around 200 km, but the snowbuggy concept already proved itself of being capable of doing 400 km/day. When the team will succeed in its plan, they will have set a world record for longest distance travelled in polar conditions.

The team members are all seasoned kite buggiers and many of them already hold several national & world titles and records related to wind powered travel.
With over 60.000 km of accumulated practice in their beach buggies, they are well up to the challenge !
The Snowbuggy team plans to cross Greenland during May and June 2013.

The team will make use of Peter Lynn depowerable snowkites for high wind conditions and very efficient Vapor buggy race matrasses for low wind conditions.
The Vapor kite is a very fast kite and generates tremendous power.
This kite holds the world speed record of 133 km/hr set by team member Arjen van der Tol.

The team intends to travel in relative comfort since physical fatigue will be limited due to the seating position in the snowbuggy.
Combined with a very stable riding behavior at high speeds, daily distances of 200 to 400 km will be possible, provided just a little wind.

Upon arrival at Kangerlussuaq International Airport on the west coast of Greenland, a chartered flight will bring the team and their equipment on the ice cap near the abandoned USA radar station DYE-2, about 200 km east of Kangerlussuaq.
From Dye-2 the team plans to “warm up” first by doing a short 1.100 km roundtrip towards Narsarsuaq which is located at the southern tip of Greenland.
After reaching DYE-2 again, the big trip north will commence towards the Baffin Bay on the west coast of Greenland. From here, the team will return back to Dye-2, making the roundtrip north adding up to 3.400 km.

The route over the icecap will hover between 2.000 and 2.500 mtr above sealevel, and will stay far away from the crevasses found on the edge of the icecap.

Total distance covered in the snowbuggy will be at least 4.500 km, assuming favourable wind directions will allow for straight line traveling.
When wind directions will be less favourable, it will slow the team down just a bit. Because of the very good upwind performance of the Peter Lynn kites , the team will have to “zigzag” their route, resulting a more distance to cover.
With a forecasted daily average of 200 km and an estimation of 7 days without any winds, the team will spend at least 1 month on the ice cap.

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