A couple from South Devon are this year planning to kite-surf 700 miles across the Greenland ice cap to raise money for Earthwatch and Making Waves for Autism.
Robert and Heidi Clover's expedition will be unsupported and they will battle fierce storms and crevasse fields during the challenge, which they expect to take up to four weeks.
Robert and Heidi are relying on the support of Earthwatchers, as they embark on their epic Greenland adventure
Robert, who is Head of Clean Energy Research at HSBC, explains why they have chosen to fundraise for Earthwatch: "We both care passionately about the environment and sustainability and more so since we have three small children growing up in these times of accelerating climate change and the uncertainty that this brings. Therefore we felt that a charity that conducts research and seeks to educate others regarding sustainability and the environment was very worthy of our support."
Heidi cares fulltime for their three young children, one of whom is autistic, which is why their other chosen charity is Making Waves for Autism. They came up with the idea for the expedition in the hope that a major challenge would raise a substantial amount of funds for their chosen charities.
Robert says: "We are both keen kitesurfers as well as snowboarders, so the idea of doing a snow-kiting mission developed. Greenland seemed an obvious destination as it has the second largest ice cap on the planet after the Antarctic, and it is at the epicentre of climate change activity. The ice sheet has experienced record melting in recent years and may contribute to up to a 7m sea level rise, as well as to possible changes in ocean circulation in the future, with recent estimates suggesting an average trend of 195 cubic kms of ice melt per year."
The couple will set off in May from Ilulisat on the west coast of Greenland and hope to complete their journey in three weeks, with the constant daylight giving them 24 hour visibility.
Heidi says: "After our ascent to the ice cap pulling sledges loaded with equipment and supplies we will take advantage of the catabatic winds - or failing those, any wind that we can find, launch our kites and make our way to Qaanaaq on the north coast, at 78 degrees north. We will be entirely dependent on the wind - the length of the expedition will depend on weather conditions. When there is no wind, we wait in our tents. If there is too much wind, we will have to sit out the storm."
They will take four or five foil kites for the journey, melt snow for drinking water and camp out in temperatures dropping to -30C. Heidi says: "Success depends on having the necessary physical and mental strength to be able to carry on when things are very, very difficult. Do we have what it takes? We shall see!"
Success depends on having the physical and mental strength to carry on. But the couple are inspired by their three young children
The couple started fitness training for the expedition in June 2010 and train 4-5 times a week, doing a mixture of strength and endurance training.
Heidi says: "For instance we are running with weighted back-packs. We need to start hauling tractor tyres soon! We are also trying to kite and kitesurf as much as possible. We will be going to Finland and Norway to practise snow-kiting and to do some polar survival training."
If you would like to support Robert and Heidi's amazing Greenland ice challenge by helping them to meet their $80,000 (£50,000) fundraising target, raising money for Earthwatch at the same time, please visit their donation page
about Robert and Heidi.