Lyon twins back from Greenland

8 October 2014

Zac and Josh Lyon with a Waikato University banner

Adventurers: Zac and Josh Lyon with a Waikato University banner on their Greenland adventure.

Good to be home

They say it was great to be away, but it’s even better to be home, back to warm, comfortable beds and plenty of food.

Zac and Josh Lyon returned to Hamilton at the end of September after completing the first leg of their 4 Caps Expedition, a trek from one side of Greenland to the other.

The 22-year-old twins joined a group of three others and a guide to cross from Tassilaq on Greenland’s east coast, to Kangerlussuaq in the west, covering a distance of 600km over 27 days, climbing 2500 metres and experiencing temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius.

Complete white-outs

Zac says there were six days of complete white-outs during the crossing, and only one day they couldn’t make any progress at all due to bad weather.

“We saw amazing things such as a sunset with halos, and what looked like three suns setting on the horizon. After not seeing anything but white for six days, sights like this were incredible.”

The twins dragged sleds laden with gear, food and fuel, weighing 60-70kgs across the ice. By the end of the journey, the sleds weighed 40kgs. They spent an average of eight hours a day ski-walking at the start of the journey, which stretched out to 10 hours a day towards the end.

Zac says the most surprising thing for him about the trip was how well they held up physically to the challenging conditions.

“We had no frostbite and were really pleased with the gear we took and the preparation we’d done.”

Josh says he was expecting to have some down days, “but I was really pleased with how we handled it all mentally”.

Louis Schipper

Stunning view: Halo sunset on the ice in Greenland.

Thinking about food

After 27 days of eating mainly noodles, salami, soup, crackers, nuts, raisins and chocolate, the Lyons are relieved to be tucking into some fresh food back home.

“We spent 89% of our time on the journey thinking about food,” says Josh. “We made lists of what we’d eat when we got home and are tackling that now, putting back the 14 kilograms we lost. On the ice, our whole existence revolved around when we would eat. Food became such a big deal.”

Now it’s back to work and study, planning and fundraising for their next adventure, a 2260km, 70-day trek across Antarctica, which begins in October 2015. 

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