21st Century exploration takes the adreneline levels to a whole new high. Being able to harness the wind power and having the right tools readily accessible gives the explorers the advantage to enter into unknown boundaries. Crossing snow and icescapes with the support of a kite that doesn't bulk or weigh down the meticulously selected travel gear means the ability to cover further distances and reach new milestones in the world of exploration.
Earlier this year the Spectre Expedition team successfully completed their mammouth 1700km journey having spent Christmas day lost in the Antartic wilderness. The team covered huge distances using their custom designed Hyperlink V1 and Chrono V3 Ultrlight foil kites. The design of the of the Chrono V3 fits perfectly with the demands of kite exploration by delivering solid power and incredible stability that gets you up and going even in the lightest breeze, the Ultralight material is 25% lighter and packs down effortlessly. Spectre team leader Leo Houlding certainly knows the advantages of kite power:
“Kite assistance has been around for a long time, but it’s really come of age in the last five years, as technology from kitesurfing wings has transferred over. Now they’re really safe, really powerful and they really work. Realistically when you are man hauling [walking on skis, dragging a sled behind] you’re looking at 25km a day. But on a good day kiting, you can do 250km without breaking sweat."
Recently team member Mark Sedon spoke with IKSURF Magazine about their amazing achievement of climbing one of the most remote mountains on earth which at times felt like it was "at the edge of impossible" Can you imagine spending 50 days in Antartica struggling to survive each day, having to deal with glaciers, deep crevasses and freezing storms?
Here's a snippet from Mark's article of what they had to contend with:
"On day five the clouds part and the wind eased to 20-25 knots so we thought we'd give kiting a crack. In the bitter cold, we rig up our 9m Ozone Hyperlink kites. We know that we'll be over powered, but it is the smallest we have. With the heavy pulks (type of sled) we also needed the extra power to move, and we have 8m traces on so if we crash th e pulk will hopefully stop, or at least slow down before running us over like a speed bump...
...Jean Launches first while I film. He gets hoistered 3 or 4 metres off the ground, then gets the kite under control and heads off. Leo is next and gets lifted even higher before gaining control. Later, Jean suggests that we move the knot on the de-power further down on the race bars we are using which allows us to hold the bar in while launching, depowering the kite, so it doesn't pull too hard while we slowly move it to the side of the window for a more controlled start. It works amazingly and helps us keep the kites low and in the window."
And just so you can get a feeling of how cold the conditions were:
"When we remove our goggles, we feel the liquid in our eyes freezing between blinks!"
Read the full IKSURF article where the team tell all regarding their incredible adventure and death defying experiences: iksurfmag.com/issue68/?page=85
You can also visit spectreexpedition.com for full team background and upates from throughout their expedition