Greenland Ice Summit 2016

  • Start date: 19-5-2016
  • Completion date: 25-6-2016
  • Start / end point: Kangerlussuaq
  • Total km: 1,870
  • Expedition duration: 35 days
  • Challenges achieved: Ascent in the interior of Greenland’s to its highest elevation with a polar eco-vehicle


Ramón Larramendi, in the spring of 2016, posed a great challenge: use his latest WindSled vehicle design to ascend 2,000 meters, attaining the inner summit of Greenland’s Inlandsis, following a circular route that crosses the Arctic island. On this occasion, he wanted to test the final model of the vehicle, with four modules (the handling one, two for cargo and one as living/resting quarters) and a crew of six people in which some were replaced midway. In total, 2,000 kilos of weight.

During the first part of the adventure, accompanying Larramendi were: Hilo Moreno, Ignacio Oficialdegui, Vicente Leal, Karin Moe Bojsen and Nacho García. The latter four being relieved after 1,500 kilometers of route by Manuel Olivera, Malik Milfeldt and Miguel Herrero.


The Greenland Ice Summit Expedition 2016 departed on May 15 from Spain. The navigation on the ice began on the 21st, not far from the town of Kangerlussuaq, after being left there by a helicopter.

Larramendi noted since the beginning of the trip that the thaw in the interior of Greenland had advanced several weeks compared to two years beforehand, so there was water near the route. Not only were the temperatures higher, but the polar nocturnal winds behaved erratically.

Faced with this problem, the expedition in some sections was divided in two groups (with two modules in each) so that their handling was easier in those sections.


Finally, on June 7 they reached the summit or highest elevation, at 3,240 meters above sea level, where the scientific base Summit Camp is located. There they spent a few hours with the scientists of the installation.

From the summit, the team began the descent on the other side of the frozen ‘dome’ to the vicinity of the east coast, where a helicopter approached the vehicle so the crew could be exchanged, and which took place without incident.

From that moment on, with favorable winds finally, they undertook the last stage of the journey. The descent to the surroundings of the southeast coast was much faster, surpassing in some moments 25 km/ h of speed with the convoy and without major incidents.

On this occasion, Ramón Larramendi’s expedition team also had a scientific objective. Information on snow and ice was collected for different national and international scientific projects related to climate change. Among them, the involvement of glaciologist Jason Box is highlighted, and for whom they drilled holes of almost 14 meters in depth.

The most complicated moments took place in the last hours of the traverse, when they crossed an area of ​​large crevasses that, covered by snow, turned those last kilometers into a very dangerous scenario. The adventure ended, six weeks after departure, on June 23, close to the starting point at the height of Kangerlussuaq, where they were picked up by a helicopter.


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