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Greenland Expedition: Trials & Tribulations

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When five adventurers set out pulling 100kg sleds 565km across Greenland’s beautiful, hazardous ice caps, they knew it wasn’t going to be a simple feat. The group, Three Journey’s Round, embarked with a goal to inspire, educate, and promote the idea of living on a better planet through sustainable development.

Adventurer, long-range helicopter pilot, author, and Guinness World Record Holder Peter Wilson helped veteran explorer Mikael Strandberg organize the team’s adventure from Kangerlussuaq to an extraction point called the Grill Hut on the east coast near Isortoq, relying on Iridium Connected™ trackers to map their journey.

“Pulling the sled was the easy part for me; however, living in the -20°C environment was an education,” Wilson remarked on Greenland’s intense weather. “We experienced all conditions from the initial crevasse field, over the top at 2,500m above sea level and down the other side including blue ice, snow, blizzards, howling 80km per hour winds, icy conditions, melting snow, flowing water, and temperatures from 0°C to -24°C with wind chill down to -37°C.”

Sadly, on Expedition Day 2, team leader Strandberg showed severe concussion symptoms after falling in the crevasse field. The remaining members were able to contact medical help using Wilson’s Iridium Extreme® satellite phone. Communicating over the Iridium® network, the mission doctor made his recommendation and a helicopter was sent to the group’s coordinates provided by their Garmin InReach® Mini.

After Strandberg’s emergency evacuation, the remaining members continued and the Greenland icecap further tested their preparation, equipment, and resolve.

Peter Wilson attributes the expedition’s this expedition’s safety to Iridium and Iridium Connected devices. The team used Garmin InReach beacons–connected by Bluetooth® to their phones–for tracking and messaging and Iridium Extremes for communications. These devices helped the team track their progress and provided a lifeline during emergencies.

Team member James Ketchell also used Iridium and Irridium Connected devices as a means to inspire the next generation of adventurers and promote STEM education by hosting virtual field trip calls known as Exploring the World for Kids for K-12 students.

Despite the medical emergency, the team arrived at the Grill Hut safely in just over 29 days.

“I wouldn’t do anything like this without an Iridium satellite phone”

– Peter Wilson, Adventurer, Pilot, Author, Three Journeys Round

“It was so easy for us all to make any necessary calls to family, authorities, Search and Rescue, and in James’ case, his schools obligations answering kids’ questions and the voice pop nightly update to his tracker—[a] very clever service from zerosixzero. The 28 watt-hour batteries seemed to last forever,” Wilson said. “I wouldn’t do anything like this without an Iridium satellite phone.”

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