Spider....

SPIDER AND POLAR TRAVEL

We were first approached by a customer who wanted to use a MODULUS in Antarctica in the summer of 1994. He was going to be based at B.A.S research station Halley 5, where he was keen to have a source of traction haulage other than skidoos - which during the "winter" months are laid up due to the extreme cold. He also wanted to use it for recreational skiing and planned short 2-3 day trips as well. Based on his advice the standard "38" MODULUS was adapted so that it could be used with gloves in the cold. We also developed a harness to tow sledges whilst Paraskiing.

And then?... One by one, year by year, adventure after adventure.

At last! after all these years, these guy's are going places.

Spider has benefitted from the cross fertilization of ideas and experiences gained over the last six years of Polar traction. We have upgraded many of our standard designs, fittings and the range of MODULUS systems we offer.

Now available is the "BIG BOY" MODULUS specifically for heavy sledge towing.

For light winds and yet still having the advantage of a modular system and a wide wind range the "ULTRALIGHT BIG BOY",

For training, strong winds and expeditions, we have introduced the tough and user friendly "58 SKI"

For recreational Paraskiing which demands a "one kite solution" we have introduced the "LITTLE BIG BOY"

Roger Mear

1995 Roger Mear was one of the first and is still taking it a long way.

"...A day followed of superb flying. Though the snow is still deep and the going heavy, I did 46 miles (74km)..."

MODULUS

"ONE STEP"

"One Step" was all that Swan wanted to take!

1996 looked promising with a team lead by Robert Swan proposing a journey from the South Pole to the edge of the ice shelf - the "Tandem One Step Beyond Expedition".

one step

Ran Fiennes

SPIDER's acknowledged Polar experience resulted in being contacted by "Sir Ran Fiennes" - "the worlds greatest living explorer"

"...The SPIDERS were ace..."

intro

GRAEME JOY

A Spider getting to the North Pole was a great buzz, what was even better was the great feedback Graeme gave us on his return.

graeme joy

David Ellis

Cross Country and Recreational Paraskiing is developing rapidly thanks to the likes of David Ellis who took a chance and "went for it"

David Ellis

Training

We have been training Pilots for over eight years, and have developed techniques and equipment to a very high level. Coupled with our access to the vast sand flats of Pembrey and Pendine.

Training

SUMMARY

Techniques.

There are 3 basic traction techniques that can be used in sledge towing:

  1. Paraskiing - full traction for both Pilot and sledge requiring consistent surfaces, good winds and at least moderate visibility.
  2. Kite walking - the pull of the parafoil is harnessed to reduce the workload of the Pilot. Less exhilarating than full traction but valuable nevertheless, with the parafoil still making a contribution to the sledge's progress. A safer option in circumstances of rough surfaces and reduced visibility.
  3. Hauling - here the parafoil is connected directly to the sledge(Ofline) and is called on to provide the occasional added impetus to move the sledge over obstacles. The kite is positioned overhead where "drive" is at it's minimum. When additional pull is required the kites brakes are applied to "back off" and then released to "Rush" the kite to develop the necessary extra power. Sailing "Ofline" is also the most efficient method of hauling heavy pulks, as all the power is going to the pulk and not through the harness/Pilot.
The benefits of using a modular parafoil.
  • Durable and practical ski traction
  • Safe: De - powers instantly
  • Astounding power to weight ratio
  • Can weigh as little as 2.5kg (6lb)
  • Low volume - 14 kites in one bag
  • Power without a tipping action
  • Wide wind range, 270 degrees of opportunity - up/down/cross wind
  • High daily distances possible - 160km (100 miles) or more!
  • Easily handled by one person
  • Controllable power and speed
  • Useable in sastrugi fields and rough going
  • Maximizes wind gradient and wind strength
  • Matches speed, skill and power requirements
  • THE WORLD'S ONLY ONE KITE OPTION

THE FUTURE

Expeditions have led the way and have proved kite traction beyond doubt. We have several more expeditions ongoing and more planned for 2001/2.

Cross Country Paraskiing is now developing quickly. The fact that our equiptment has been designed as a light, compact ready to go "bolt on" for anybody who has ski's and a rucksac and a taste for adventure! It has opened the door for some great weekend breaks!

We also have commercial exploration companies coming on board this year offering Kite traction crossings for the first time, so if you want to go places? check out: SNOWSLED JOURNEYS

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