An Epic 4 month, 6000 mile Expedition to Greenland

3 Lake-District adventurers set out on an epic expedition to Greenland.

Ben Kent
By Ben Kent

13/05/24

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Ben, Indie and Chris are this year staging a 6000 mile, four month sailing and climbing expedition to North West Greenland. They seek to conquer the North West passage to climb some epic big wall, including some first ascents.

 

 

The trio have identified some 600m-800m walls around 600km inside the Arctic Circle. The hope is to manage a first ascent on these with difficulties up to E5/E6.

 

 

 

The team expect to be on the wall for between 6 and 10 days and therefore decided to reach out to VOOM with a range of really high energy products. They've decided to do a very fast and light approach to the climbing and so hunted down food that they could take on with a really high energy to weight ratio, whilst avoiding any stomach discomfort.

 

Their aim is to both document the climbing but also some of the environmental damage that climate change is doing to the wildlife and local communities and their traditions in Greenland, as well as the Inuit territory of the northern passages. 

 

 

 

Before they departed, we caught up with Ben.

 

 

When did this idea come into your heads?

 

We all remember watching Alastair Lee’s Asgard Project when we were young at the Kendal Mountain festival way back in 2009 and it just inspired me so much. It just made me want to go suffer and try hard in wild places!

 

How are you feeling about the trip?


Excited! Its been a long few months getting all the planning together and as-always some of its been last minute! Its certainly the biggest mission we’ve all ever attempted so it feels great to finally get it over the line and set off! Next step will be the small matter of the two month sail to reach the wall!

 

What are you looking forward to most?

 

 

I'm definitely drawn to the idea of being able to look at a whole Fjord of mountains, knowing every single bit of rock is an untouched line! Coming from an area with such a rich history of climbing like the lakes untouched rock is something of a rarity!


Also to be able to witness one of the last true wildernesses on our planet in person, the whole population of Greenland can comfortably fit inside most premier league football stadiums. And Greenland is the ‘populated’ bit of the trip!

 

What challenges do you think you’ll face?

 

 


The biggest challenge for us is certainly the wall itself. Nobody has ever touched it so we really wont know how hard it will actually be until we touch it! There will be real unknowns in the route finding department when you're on such a big piece of rock. Two meters of deviation could mean you might end up miles away from where you wanted to be horizontally when you go up another 600 or 700 meters vertically.
And then of course the ice… we certainly all know what happened to the Titanic!

 

How are you planning your nutrition throughout the trip?

 

 


I've got to say, we were all pretty disappointed when we sadly realised pork pies weren’t ample nutrition for a four month expedition. What do you buy when you wont see a shop for a whole summer?!

 

We’ve gone for the plan of fish as much as we can! However for the wall it got a bit more complicated, we've opted for a mixture of dehydrated food such as dahls and bean chillies (dutifully cooked and dried by Indie) for our wall meals along with a multitude of VOOM products to fuel our energy for the consecutive days of long hard hours we expect.

 


What are your top 5 packing essentials?

 



1. Eyeshades (it wont be going dark very often).

2. VOOM RecoverFudge (no need to explain this one!)

3. Spare ropes! Arctic walls and loose rock are a match made in heaven.

4. Flare guns! Those big white cuddly bears don't look too cuddly when they are eyeing you up for a tasty meal.

5. Drone, you might think for filming but no! (Well yes.. but they are also incredibly useful for Ice navigation when trying to traverse sea ice!

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