Dansercoer finishes record-setting expedition in Greenland


The Flemish polar explorer Dixie Dansercoer has completed the first ever circumnavigation of Greenland’s ice cap – using only kites to travel 4,000km

Big adventure

Flemish polar explorer Dixie Dansercoer and his Canadian companion, Eric McNair-Landry, have carried out the first ever complete circumnavigation of Greenland’s ice cap without motorised vehicles and without any assistance. The cap is the second largest in the world.

On their Greenland Ice expedition, the two adventurers used only wind kites for transport on the more than 4,000-kilometre route. On 4 June, they arrived back where they started, at their campsite at Greenspeed Ridge on the east coast of Greenland. They were picked up by a helicopter two days later.

By achieving this feat, the explorers also broke the world record for the longest non-assisted kite expedition on polar ice, which had been held since 2009 by British explorer Adrian Hayes. Hayes’s tour was 3,120km.

Dansercoer and McNair-Landry started out on 10 April, thinking it would take them about 80 days to travel the planned 5,000km. The tour was shortened due to weather and terrain difficulties, and the explorers managed to finish in just 55 days.

“Pioneering new routes requires the spirit of an audacious dreamer,” said Dansercoer. “Carrying out the project to the very end required on-edge performance, every day all day.”

During their expedition, the duo collected scientific data, which will be used by an international scientific committee to investigate the impact of climate change. To promote ecological sustainability, the explorers strictly limited their waste during the trip and used solar energy to charge batteries.

Dansercoer has a long career in polar exploits. His previous adventure lasted from November 2011 to February 2012, when, with fellow Fleming Sam Deltour, he carried out the Antarctic Ice expedition, covering 5,013km in 74 days in the largely unexplored territory of East Antarctica. This was also a record-setting feat.