On March 29, Sean Rose, a paraplegic kite skier, attempted to become the first paraplegic to kite-ski across the Vatnajökull icecap in Iceland — at several hundred kilometers wide it is the largest ice cap in Europe. For the first three days the journey went perfectly, but then he was struck with a serious urinary tract infection — one of many additional hazards people with SCI face on adventure trips. The infection caused a 104 degree fever and left him shivering in the corner of his tent.
Stranded 100 miles from civilization, Sean needed to be evacuated to a medical facility — easier said than done when you’re 100 miles out on an ice cap. Weather precluded a helicopter rescue, so a four-wheel-drive vehicle specially outfitted for snow travel had to make the trek to save him.
The goal of Rose’s trip was to raise $42,000 for Wings for Life, a British organization that funds worldwide scientific research and clinical trials aimed at curing spinal cord injuries.
Now back at home, rested and healthy, he and his team are planning on heading back for a second attempt within the next few weeks. We are wishing Rose smooth snow, sunny skies and fair winds.
Read more about Rose’s story and see some very cool footage of him kite skiing, something I have added to my bucket list.
More about Kite-Skiing: The adaptive version of kite skiing uses a mono-ski bucket on top of two articulating skis (a bi-ski) combined with a surf kite. From the video it looks like epic fun — shredding fresh powder, with no lift tickets or lift lines. Plus, with kite-skiing, who needs mountains?