A British adventurer passed away last Saturday while attempt an unsupported crossing of Greenland with two friends. The three men lost their tent in the high winds of a massive storm and were left completely exposed to the elements. The incredibly cold temperatures, high winds and snowy conditions all contributed to the fatality. The other two men suffered severe frostbite and shock.
Philip Goodeve-Docker and his companions, Andy Norman and Roan Hackney, were just two days into a planned 30-day crossing of Greenland on skis. Their journey would have covered 400 miles (643 km), but they had barely gone anywhere before they were hit by a “Piteraq”, the local name for deadly blizzards that often occur on the landmass.
The three men were stranded by the storm last Friday and immediately called for help when they lost their tent. But a rescue team was miles away and the blizzard made it impossible for them to arrive on the scene any earlier than Saturday. By the time the SAR team reached the three men, Goodeve-Docker had already frozen to death. His companions were evacuated to the closet hospital where they are being treated for their exposure and shock. They are expected to make a full recovery.
This is more sad news for the adventure community, but a sobering reminder of just how bad things can go at times. Particularly when traveling in some of the coldest, harshest environments on the planet. Greenland is quite the polar challenge and this was an expedition that Goodeve-Docker had been looking forward to for some time.
My condolences to Phillip’s friends and family, and hopefully Andy and Roan will make a speedy recovery.
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