Polar nomad

We can’t leave Union Glacier without saying more about Ronny. He was the first person we met when we disembarked from the aircraft.
Vegard Ulvang and Ronny FinsåsRonny Finsås giving us helpful hints on kiting. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

Ronny has participated in the Antarctic operations of ALE right from the start in 2003. He is a cook by profession but is also jack of all trades, glacier driver, and until recently held the world record in kiting (503 km in 24 hours), has ski-sailed the length of Greenland, and between cooking for staff and guests at Union Glacier he squeezes in a few South Pole excursions. Four of them so far. In Ronny’s case a “South Pole excursion” entails kiting from the Pole to the coast.

Ronny Finsås is a polar nomad, an ice cowboy, so to speak. He spends the summer in Finse (Norway’s Mecca for ski-sailing), autumn and winter in Antarctica, and heads back to Norway for the spring skiing on the Hardanger Plateau. His record time from Finse to Geilo (40 km as the crow flies) is under one hour, and from the South Pole to the coast (1130 km solo) is five days.

During our stopover at Union Glacier, Ronny has given us an intensive course in ski-sailing. The next few days will show if we can put all his good advice and clever tricks to good use.