The polar explorer Ramón Larramendi gathered, in an event organized in Madrid, 350 people, the full capacity of the historic auditorium of the Ateneo in Madrid. He summarized the milestones, firsthand, of the adventure ‘2017 Greenland Ice River Expedition’ with its protagonists, in an event framed within the Week of Science, in Madrid. For more than two hours, the public was able to enter a polar expedition with the Inuit WindSled polar eco vehicle designed by the explorer.

The lecturers at the event were, Larramendi himself, accompanied by the expeditionary Hilo Moreno and Nacho García and by the outstanding polar scientist Antonio Quesada, coordinator of the Spanish Polar Committee. Among the public there were also expeditionary who have traveled on the WindSled on other occasions, such as Manuel Olivera, Javier Selva and Ignacio Oficialdegui, as well as researchers whose projects have also participated in the expedition or who have an interest in the Inuit WindSled scientific project.

Ramón Larramendi commenced the conference with an intervention in which he recalled his origins as an explorer (he has traveled more than 30,000 kilometers through the Arctic and Antarctica), and the first steps of the WindSled. “I understood from the beginning that we must count on the wisdom of indigenous peoples such as the Inuit, who know their territory perfectly, because the simplest is the most efficient when you move in an environment with extreme conditions.” He then commented on the most important details of the last expedition to an ice current (a gigantic slow stream of moving ice in northeastern Greenland) in which this year they did not encounter serious difficulties. “We did not suffer any major storm, like last year,” he commented. “Neither long stops due to lack of wind. Everything went very smoothly until we reached the EastGRIP base which was our destination. ”

Following, the expeditionary Hilo Moreno reviewed the scientific works that they developed and which results are still pending to be published by the researchers. “Researcher Ross Edwards traveled with us, because the main job was to dig a series of holes over two meters deep at certain points of the route for a project called ‘Dark Snow’ that studies the impact of fires and pollution on the darkening of the snow, consequently reducing its reflectivity “he said. “Despite what it may seem, we reached all the coordinates with great precision, and we stopped the sled right next to those points, even on top of once,” explained Moreno. He also gave details of how he collected data on his vital signs for an ongoing study on the impact of extreme weather conditions on polar expeditionary, as well as on the difficulties of working in the Arctic and Antarctic. “Of course, it is not as comfortable as a heated laboratory like the ones we have in the Antarctic bases, but it allows us to progress thousands of kilometers while collecting samples or data,” he affirmed.

Antonio Quesada, on his part, predicted a great future for the WindSled given the many possibilities it offers for science. The documentary producer Nacho García, also an expeditionary, commented on some of the difficulties encountered in recording images, due to the low temperatures.

The event ended with the screening of the video ‘The Sea of ​​Silence’, made by Vicente Leal in last year’s expedition, 2016 Greenland Ice Summit, after which the large audience had the opportunity to ask the speakers about the project and about life on board an expedition of this nature.


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