Getting pulled on skis by a kite across white glaciers sounds like breezy fun, but apparently kite-skiing isn’t so easy in real life. Sebastian Copeland
— photographer, explorer and environmental advocate — started his trek across Greenland last weekend, and so far, he seems to have been doing a lot of precarious, backbreaking work.
“Scaling a glacier with 240 pounds in tow, on soft snow feels like a hard labor sentence! But I doubt even prisoners work this hard,” writes Copeland in his blog
about his 1,367-mile, 40 to 50-day trip trip — a.k.a. Greenland 2010 Legacy Crossing — which he’s undertaken to help raise awareness about the effects of global warming on Greenland’s climate. The eco-activist effort’s both daring and dangerous. Here’s how Copeland describes the second day of his trip:
The crusty snow periodically breaks underfoot sinking one or two feet. Occasionally, this reveals a river below the ice which is perfect if you like wet feet! We slowly and fastidiously make our way up to the ice sheet, maneuvering carefully inside the crevasse field. Crevasses occur when an ice mass (typically a glacier or ice sheet) collapses as it pours downward. The gravitational pull literally creates cracks in the ice…. Needless to say, falling in a crevasse and dragging heavy cargo after you is no one’s idea of a good time! It will kill you.
But Sebastian’s no newbie to cold dangers. His Greenland trip began not too long after another massive snowy journey Sebastian undertook — a 400-mile trek to the North Pole to commemorate the centennial of Robert Peary’s 1909 trip to the North Pole. That trip’s been turned into a film, Into the Cold: A Journey of the Soul
, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.
Sebastian’s documenting the Greenland trip too, and hopes to turn into a multi-part TV series, according to USA Today
. Watch the trailer below to experience vicariously both the exhilarating fun and excruciating challenges of Sebastian’s journey — then follow his blog
to track his progress across a melting ice cap.