The Sledge Patrol Sirius is a small military reconnaissance military unit of the Danish Armed Forces which operates in the Northeast Greenland National Park. The men, highly qualified volunteers who serve for two years, patrol the park by dog sledge in teams of two. In addition to providing support services for visiting scientists, the Sledge Patrol Sirius unit is a means of maintaining Danish and Greenlandic sovereignty of a vast unpopulated area. The Danish Armed Forces’ continued use of dog sledging as a means of travel make them remarkable in today’s world of planes and helicopters.
Like Robert Peary in 1900 and Lauge Koch in 1921 the Sledge Patrol Sirius still travels northern Greenland by dog sled. They first traveled to Peary Land in 1964, and in 1965 they patrolled along the north coast where they camped at Cape Morris Jesup, the first time dog sledges had passed the Cape since the days of Peary and Koch. Kaffeklubben Island was attempted in 1967, 1970 and 1971 without success, but on April 12th, 1974 a sledge team was able to reach the island.
According to Mogens N. Guldbrandsen, a retired RDN Patrol Commander, “R. E. Peary, J. P. Koch, Lauge Koch and the Sledge Patrol Sirius of the Danish Armed Forces are the only ones that traveled the earth’s most northerly coast in the proper way, dog sledge. Landing with a helicopter on the top of Mount Everest is not ascending the mountain either.”
My book Beyond the Edge brings together the historical elements of “the world’s most northerly coast in the proper way.”
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