Munich. Stefan Glowacz has reached his destination. After three months on the eternal ice, rough seas and steep rockfaces, the extreme climber and BMW Outdoor Ambassador has completed his longest adventure to date. The expedition “Coast to Coast” was dedicated to sustainable mobility. Glowacz (53) joined forces with young climbing talent Philipp Hans and photographer Thomas Ulrich to cross the eternal ice of the island of Greenland travelling by kite sled. The journey to and from Greenland was also emissions-free: Glowacz crossed the Atlantic on a sailing boat, and for the first and the final stage between Munich and the Scottish port of Mallaig the trio travelled in two purely electrically powered BMW i3 (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 13.6 – 13.1 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km).
Glowacz and his companions set off on their trip from BMW Welt in Munich, after which they not only crossed the stormy seas of the Atlantic but also the ice plateau of Greenland at an altitude of over 3 000 metres. With interim stops to charge the high-voltage batteries, the fully packed BMW i3 carried the adventurers and their equipment free of local emissions via Holland and Belgium to Scotland, where the 14.5-metre steel yacht “Santa Maria” was ready and waiting. A low-pressure system during the passage to Iceland and icebergs on the way to Disko Bay meant that even crossing to Greenland was quite an ordeal. The climb up the 700-metre high Greenland ice sheet, situated near to the coast, turned out to be more laborious than expected. The trio then took some 30 days to cross the island from west to east, covering a distance of more than 1 000 kilometres. The adventurers’ schedule was repeatedly disrupted by temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees as well as days without wind that prevented them from using the kite to pull the sled.
Finally, adverse weather conditions put paid to their planned first ascent of a rockface at Scoresby Sound. Glowacz and Hans had to call off their climb attempt. “Too cold, too much snow and an icy wind,” said the professional mountaineer, “so there was no chance to climb.” To make up for this, the team was able to enjoy a different kind of natural spectacle on the way back to Iceland: northern lights provided a welcome change during nocturnal helm duty on board the “Santa Maria”. After this, another violent storm and mountainous waves up to six metres high impressively demonstrated the forces of nature off the coast of Scotland, once again delaying the crossing. By contrast, the last stage of the trip on the road ran entirely to schedule. Covering a distance of some 2 000 kilometres from Mallaig to Munich, the adventurers were able to look back over what they had experienced in the previous weeks and months.
For years now, Stefan Glowacz has undertaken spectacular expeditions in which he has repeatedly come up against the forces of nature – always in a way that is compatible with the environment. In the same way as he does without technical aids when doing free climbing, he mainly uses his own muscle power when he travels to the rockfaces he climbs, far removed from human civilisation. So the choice of transportation was an important aspect of the “Coast to Coast” adventure, too. “The aim of this expedition is to inspire people to think and follow suit, as well as creating an even greater awareness of the issue of sustainability”, says Glowacz. “So the outward and homeward journey in the BMW i3 was the icing on the cake to ensure a perfect sustainability expedition.”
The figures for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and power consumption are calculated based on the measurement methods stipulated in the current version of Regulation (EU) 2007/715. The information is based on a vehicle with basic equipment in Germany; ranges take into account differences in wheel and tyre size selected as well as optional equipment and can change during configuration.
The information has already been calculated based on the new WLTP test cycle adapted to NEDC for comparison purposes. In these vehicles, different figures than those published here may apply for the assessment of taxes and other vehicle-related duties which are (also) based on CO2 emissions.