The weatherman

image1aDistance traveled:
June 7th: 23.0 km
June 8th: 20.8 km
Distance from Pond Inlet (end): 55 km

Day 82 – Position: N72°30’44.9 W079°32’05

Every second day, we turn on our Iridium phone and wait for our new weather forecast to download. At times, these forecasts bring good news of future winds; the past couple of days, however, have read: winds less than 5 knots, from variable directions, with temperatures on the rise up to 0°C. And so we have steadily been skiing towards our final destination of Pond Inlet, hoping our next weather forecast will bring better news.

A couple years ago, while I was guiding in Antarctica, I met Mark De Keyser, who was forecasting weather for Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions. They spoke highly of his services, however I must admit I was skeptical about receiving weather forecasts on expedition. Shortly after, Eric and I headed to Mongolia to cross the the Gobi Desert by kite. Warned frequently about the fierce sand storms, we thought maybe it wasn’t a bad idea to get weather updates.

I’ve since learnt the importance of these weather forecasts. Mark’s advice on winds helped us plan our route and allowed us to be ready for the winds. The best example comes from when we were nearing Igloolik; after seven days of uncooperative head winds, a forecast finally came through calling for west winds, that would however only blow for 24 hours. Knowing this allowed us to plan for a long kite-skiing day, by only skiing four hours, then eating a big meal and sleeping for four hours. Sure enough, the winds picked up at 7 PM, as predicted. Rested and ready, we were able to kite the 154 km into Igloolik, getting there just as the winds died.

World Wide Weather 4 Expeditions, Mark’s company, forecasts weather for all types of expeditions, including mountain, polar and sailing. Having just finished the Himalayas season, he is busy forecasting for Greenland expeditions and the first ever summer expedition to the north pole.

Thanks Mark for all your help and advise!


[Via Pittarak: Northwest Passage Expedition]


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