The Nanok expedition started in Greenland: How to follow the adventurers from Brussels

The two Brussels just started their extreme triathlon.

You discovered them in our magazine “In the immersion‘: Two Brussels residents, Gilles Denis and Nathan Goffart, were preparing for the adventure of a lifetime, ‘a type of extreme triathlon never done before, crossing the ice cap from west to east for 600 km on skis, sea kayaking down the east coast for more than 1000 km to reach the fjords of Cape Farewell in the south and the to create opening of a big wall climbing route“, the two adventurers explain to us

In the immersion | Nanok Expedition: The Call of the Far North (02/18/2022)

After years of preparation and a stay of several days in Kangerlussuaq, their expedition began this Friday morning. According to initial estimates, this will last until September 15th.

In three steps

Your expedition will consist of three distinct but consecutive stages, making the expedition unique, which will also be the subject of a documentary currently in production.

First the polar part

The first leg, the polar part, lasts until May 20th and therefore consists of crossing the Greenland ice sheet from Kangerlussuaq to Isortoq in very harsh climatic conditions (from -5 to -40 degrees and a lot of wind). up to 200 km/h). They travel on cross-country skis in polar outfits and pull an 80 kg pulka across the ice, which in particular contains the scientific equipment on board to collect data and samples for the ULB (18 snow samples), the ULG and the GEUS (10 snow pits, the need to be dug to measure the density and depth of annual snow accumulation) and the Royal Observatory of Belgium (a GNSS beacon is placed in the pulka to collect topographic measurements).

The difficulties include the crevasses at the beginning and the end, the temperatures, the climatic conditions, but also the time allowed since food and fuel are counted‘ explain Gilles Denis and Nathan Goffart, who state that all of their food was made by them in the form of dehydrated rations.

Then a giant kayak ride

After crossing the ice sheet, the two explorers will descend the east coast from Isortoq to Aappilattoq (about 1200 km) for about two months (June 1 to August 1), with no human presence between these two towns. The climatic conditions will also be very harsh with temperatures between 15 and -10 degrees and a lot of wind. “The difficulties, in addition to the climatic conditions, will also be the animals that we will encounter: polar bears, seals, whales, killer whales, arctic foxes, arctic hares, etc. We will also run out of food, so we will have to supplement with hunting and fishing.“, explain it.

Here, too, samples in the form of seawater are collected for the ULB in order to calculate the amount of microplastics in the water.

Climbing a big wall this summer

Between mid-August and mid-September, the two Brussels natives’ expedition will end with the ascent of a great wall (huge unexplored wall) in the Cape Farewell region of southern Greenland. In changeable weather, the temperatures should be between 20 and -10 degrees. During their ascent, the two friends get stuck on the vertical wall.

Report | In November 2020 they were already in full preparation for the expedition (11/15/2020)

Live tracking to follow them

Of course, to follow their expedition, you can follow the social networks of the two adventurers Gilles and Nathan, but also their website. In addition, they also offer live tracking to follow their progress live throughout the duration of the expedition.

You can also follow this tracking as the days go by right here:

ArBr – Photo: GD and NG

■ Interview with Giles Denis and Nathan GoffartDirected by Arnaud Bruckner

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