“3 broken tents with two of them unusable from the first night”

INTERVIEW

GMHM

The Greenland Expedition involved some serious commitment by the French GMHM (High-Mountain Military Group) and the Commando Mountain Group! The élite military members of the Ground Army had to endure some extreme conditions during a 15-day polar hike: an average -15°C temperature, a 100km/hr windstorm and 50kgs of equipment to carry around. This joint expedition was arranged to perfect their base-settling and travel techniques in hostile environments. Antoine Bletton, corporal at the GMHM, has shared his experience with us as well as some images shot with his ACTION-X3… that speak for themselves !

« We were in Liverpool Land, on Greenland’s East Coast. We did an independent 16-day hike spending 15 nights in a tent. We measured a temperature of between -10 and -15 °C on average during a day. It was -18 °C one night… inside the tent!!!

On the third day we were hit by a powerful windstorm : 90 to 100 km/hr continuously with gusts of 130 km/hr… The group was blocked on the spot for 70 hours and managed to get out of the tent for an hour once and two hours a second time. Three of our tents got broken and two of them were unusable from the first night. Therefore we gathered in groups of three per tent holding the hoops to avoid them breaking too !

After this particularly challenging moment we spent a long day (20km) travelling towards a small hut where we were able to fix our tents and get back into appropriate conditions to finish the hike.

All the orientation was done with Dim’s TREKKER-X3, my ACTION-X3 as well as the emergency ACTION-X3.

We travelled 120 km with a 5000-mt difference in height. Pulk sleds were between 40 and 50 kgs full at the beginning of the hike.

Landscapes were breathtaking: frozen fjords with icebergs, traces of bears, peaks and very alpine mountain passes. After the storm, snow conditions were very sensitive and limited the possibility to go skiing onto mountain tops.

The atmosphere inside the group was truly amazing and that’s what helped us make it through the adventure despite the pretty shocking start! It really was a great experience that we will remember for a while . »

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