“We’re going to kite-ski across Greenland with our kayaks.”
When these words came out of Erik Boomer’s mouth when I saw him this summer on Idaho’s Payette River, they didn’t surprise me. Because this is how Erik Boomer rolls. The “honey badger,” as he’s fondly referred to by friends is a serial adventurer. He has crossed the North Pole on skis, has kayaked some of the world’s toughest rivers (he once had a team hang him off belay in his kayak before he cut the rope and ran a 60-foot waterfall). The dude gets out there. And he’s a gifted photographer.
Right now, he’s on one of his most audacious adventures yet: he, his girlfriend Sarah McNair-Landry, and longtime expedition paddler Ben Stookesberry, are crossing Greenland using kites to access some supremely difficult whitewater. Mostly all of it self-supported. Word has it that the kite skiing across the frozen tundra became too difficult, so they had to drag their kayaks and food for miles. Red Bull has helped with logistics and filming (only for the first week) but the team has mostly turned to skiing while dragging boats. And they’ve run some tough whitewater (see below). All in all, they will have traveled 700 miles–destination: six degrees North of the Arctic circle. “Just when you think you have it in the bag, a crevasse field pops up and ruins your day,” Boomer says on one post.
Still, sounds as if the trekking has proven fruitful. Check out some of these drops:
Kitekayaksupertrip Day 39. It's been years since I've first descended a waterfall, today I figured why not fatback on that train! This drop was an intimidating 50ft to 20ft to 10fter, undercut ice caves galore and huge boils that guarded the exit of the first stout. @redonkous2u is in the picture just behind the falls in case I ended up on the wrong side of the boil and luckily I had a good line and didn't need the help. So stoked right now, and also curious what else lies between us and the ocean, 1600 feet of gradient in 6 miles to go! #voked @nrsweb @sarahmcnairlandry #supertrip5000
And this two-tiered monster:
Day 43. Today I decided to fire it up and paddle a huge falls, fresh snow and ice made it difficult to get Ben in the pool below for safety, and I was prepared to take a few huge hits. I couldn't stop believing in my line and decided to go for it. My line through this rapid had to be one of the best of my life! Look closely in the bottom right frame to see Ben for a sense of scale. Thanks to an awesome team to set safety and allow me to take a chance like this #returnofthehoneybadger #voked #hungrytiredhappy #nextlevel #supertrip5000 @redonkulous2u @sarahmcnairlandry
River Twin Galaxies B is still nearly 1000 feet above sea level and chewing hungrily into this newly ice free landscape. There are sure to be portages ahead but Boomer made sure that we would mark one less on the map at a massive falls he calls King of Kong. It left an indelible mark on the #supertrip5000 and Boomer's nose. PS his line was pure magic. @eboomer @sarahmcnairlandry