Out on a limb to beat the odds. In April 2014, 4 People, with 6 working legs between them, will snowkite across Vatnajökull to raise awareness for spinal injury charities.
The four adventurers will attempt to cross Vatnajökull in Iceland using powerkites. This is a tough trip at the best of times, made even more challenging by the fact that one of the team members has a spinal injury and is confined to a wheelchair. Never before has a disabled athlete crossed Vatnajökull, let alone crossed it by snow-kite.
Snowkiting takes the principles of kitesurfing, now a well-established sport, and applies them to skiing and snowboarding. Snowkiters ride a snowboard or skis and propel themselves across snow or ice by power kite. It allows them to explore vast areas of terrain including those previously inaccessible to skiers and snowboarders, across the flat and uphill.
The team are doing this both to overcome a challenge, raise awareness of spinal injuries and highlight the benefit that sports can bring to both able-bodied people and those with disabilities. On personal levels, the team members share a love of kitesports and have an attraction to cold, remote and snow-covered locations. The challenge will raise money for the Spinal Cord Research Foundation: Wings for Life.
Team member Robert Brown says of the mission: ‘We will encounter live volcanoes, boiling lakes, sulphur pits, crevasse, surging melt-water rivers, and extreme weather, but with careful planning, determination and maybe a little bit of luck we are confident we can make it.’
Sean Rose of St Neots, Cambridgeshire: Double Winter Paralympian, World Cup Gold
Downhill Skier, Winter XGames medalist, World Champion Water Skier and adventurer.
Mike Dann of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire: An experienced mountaineer and polar
explorer; he has lead expeditions to the Magnetic North Pole, Mt Elbrus and Greenland.
Kieron Jansch of London: is a powerkiter, kitemaker and filmmaker.
Robert Brown of Islington, London, is an operator of snowkiting adventure holidays through his company: snowkiter.co.uk