Flattered that our Greenland expedition is prominently featured in the 2012 Guinness World Records just out, complete with one of Derek Crowe's great pictures of me kite skiing across a slushy Greenland ice sheet.
The 67 day journey that Devon McDiarmid, Derek and myself undertook in 2009 the full length - and across the top - of the Greenland ice cap without any resupplies covered a distance (point to point) of 3120 kms. It was recognized by Guinness last year as the Arctic's longest unsupported snow-kiting journey to date.
Whilst an entry in the book is always rewarding, integrity is even more important to me and on this expedition and record there are a few things we have continually stressed as follows;
- The record is for the longest unsupported kite skiing journey in the Arctic, not the Antarctic. Rune Gjeldnes' 2005/06 "Longest March" across Antarctica remains the longest unsupported kite-assisted journey to date in all polar regions.
- The 3120 kms was, like Rune, achieved using kites, thus a different type of expedition than walking only for which fellow Britons Alex Hibbert and George Bullard hold the record fot their 2008 unsupported walk across and back Greenland.
- This was the second unsupported full vertical crossing of the Greenland ice cap, however the first (of Rune Gjeldnes again and Torry Larson in 1996) completed virtually the full length of the entire island, mountains and fjords of the South and North included.
We have always given Rune and Torry maximum promotion for their amazing achievement including a mention in the documentary of our expedition and Rune remains for me one of the greatest polar explorers of all time.
Finally, as I unexpectedly have two entries in the new book - the second for my "3 Poles" achievement of 2006/07 - just to state, as have before and do continually, that this record was beaten last year by Eric Larsson who completed all three poles in less than a year, a remarkable achievement also. Guinness have a long lead time so I hope Eric gets his due reward next year.
These clarifications aside, all of them are far more worthy entries than many of the barmy records - the most pancakes eaten in one hour and so on – that do exist in the book!
And though the book only comprises a small percentage of the vast number of records that Guinness award and hold, it is very pleasing that this year they have included a double page polar section which recognizes many (though not all) of the great achievements at the top and bottom of our World.