2XTM Expedition

Why We Freeze

To Cross the Moon (2XtM) was an eco-friendly snowkiting expedition across North Dakota, raising awareness about wind energy and climate change. Snowkiting, a fast-growing sport perfectly suited for North Dakota, uses a giant kite to pull someone on a snowboard or skis. Our fearless adventurers braved the elements, attempting to snowkite nearly 400 miles across North Dakota from the Canadian border to South Dakota. The 2XtM crew traveled to communities across the state, using the buzz generated by the expedition to talk about climate change and wind energy. Ironically, the 2007 expedition was cut short due to one of the warmest winters on record. The 2008 expedition posed similar challenges, yet the adventurers finished this first-of-its-kind trans-state kiting expedition on Thursday, February 28th, 2008.

The athletes carried everything they needed on their backs for the three-week expedition, making the journey propelled solely by the wind’s energy. They were driven by their quest for adventure and extreme challenges, and their passion for empowering and inspiring society to see the potential for wind energy as a meaningful and essential energy source in the fight against climate change.

While the athletes dealt with subzero temperatures and obstacles such as ice ridges and barbed wire fences, the 2XtM community outreach crew roughly followed the expedition route, giving educational presentations to increase awareness about wind energy and climate change in local schools and at community forums. The crew also held free snowkiting demonstration clinics where participants were able to “hold the wind in their hands.” During the program’s two seasons, the crew spoke to over 10,000 people, taught hundreds how to snowkite, and reached millions more through the media, including appearances on MSNBC and Outside Magazine.

Although 2XtM’s main goal was to raise awareness for the potential of wind power in North Dakota, the athletes — Sam Salwei and Jason Magness, both from Grand Forks, N.D., along with Paul Cassedy from San Diego, Calif. — also hoped to bring positive national attention to North Dakota’s assets, including its wide-open spaces and opportunities for recreation, not to mention its world-class wind. North Dakota, often referred to as the Saudi Arabia of wind, is the number one state for wind energy potential, with enough wind to light up almost one-third of the United States, according to the Department of Energy.

In an effort to practice what they preached while lessening their contribution to global warming, all the pollution generated during the 2XtM crew’s travels was offset by renewable energy investments thanks to a partnership with 3 Degrees Energy, a leading company offering renewable energy credits.

The name To Cross the Moon (2XtM) was suggested by our esteemed videographer, Tad Erikson. Not only is North Dakota a beautiful moonscape in the winter, but more importantly, 2XtM draws from President Kennedy’s bold vision for America to be the first to land on the moon. He rallied an entire country behind him in an age where the technology did not exist to accomplish the goal. Climate change provides us with a challenge even more daunting than reaching the moon. The difference is that today we have the technology to rise to the challenge. What we lack is the political will. A power shift is needed to change the political climate instead of the climate of our planet. A power shift to a clean, renewable energy economy and a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. Help us create that power shift!

Acknowledgements

To Cross the Moon was made possible with the help of our generous, eco-conscious sponsors. 2XtM selected sponsors dedicated to sustainability, who provided vital support in the form of gear, food, and fiscal backing.

Sponsors included:

Mortenson Construction: the leading builder of wind farms in North America

prAna: a clothing company that buys wind power to reduce its carbon footprint; and

Guayaki’ a maker of organic, rainforest-grown, fairly traded yerba mate.

Many more incredible companies supported this project, as well as personal donations from our community, family, and followers.

Team

Many people were part of this great expedition, and without them, this effort would not have succeeded. We all volunteered our time for this expedition, and many incurred personal debt to see our mission through. Cheers to all who lent their incredible talent and passion to 2XtM.

Athletic Team

Sam Salwei
Sam Salwei
Jason Magness
Paul Cassedi

Education Team

Jason Schaefer
Anna Holden
Anna Holden
Chelsea Hummon
Chelsea Hummon
Kathryn Joyce
Kathryn Joyce
Dan Norgard
Dan Norgard

Media Team

Mike Mohaupt
Sean O'Connor
Sean O'Connor
Blake Gordon
Thrillhead Creations
hrillhead Creations

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