|A crevasse seen early in the expedition|
Perfectly on track for the Pole! Compass bearing from my camp the day before was 128 degrees for the Pole, and 128 degrees is what I did today! Well it's not easy to do that all the time, hey! Dodging all thee sastrugi, dosing off, and compass alignment error all make it not a perfect science. Obviously the straighter on course I can go the less distance I have to travel, so the incentive is big!
Elevation: 2503 metres... Just on 200-250 left now... Great, the hills slow me down!
Well the rest did me good. I seemed to have a new 'timeless' approach, and my speed was faster. I dropped the rigorous set march time schedule, and rather went with how I felt, but trying to have as long marches and least breaks as possible. It worked well.
I woke to an almost windless morning and was congratulating myyself on the good choice of rest day... Hmm, the SE crosswind returned an hour after I started, and it's still blowing as hard, if not harder than the rest day. Oh well, at least I could pack up and take the tent down in quiet conditions! By the sound of the wind tonight, I'm not sure that will be the case tomorrow... Hold thumbs!
Early into today's march, I put my foot through some thin ice, and my whole right leg disappeared into blue oblivion, until my crotch and the hole size prevented me going any deeper... Quite amazing when all around the ice looks aged, thick and very stable.
This crosswind, about 70 degrees off a direct headwind, was quite challenging today. Firstly the windchill is quite serious, annd secondly the constant battering wears on one, so by the end of the day I felt mentally drained. Anyway, this was the weather I expected all the way from the start, but I actually haven't had it too bad. I could imagine that this is the weather of the plateau, so I'd better get used to it!
The terrain today was largely uninteresting, just the normal range of sastrugi, although my sled did tip over quite a bit today. Maybe 'reckless' driving.
250 km to go now... I need to just put in soid 30+ km days, and all will be good! Focus, focus, focus....
My fingers are quite sore from cold damage, and tonight trying to pickup individual matches to light the stove was a challenge. Funny how we take this finger feeling for granted, but without it the finger isn't much good!
Feet are off the concern / worry list, so that good. The change to walking sorted it.
So, how are festive season preparations / activities going... Christmas shopping, year end parties etc... GEE, I'm right out off it... Hmmm, not sure I'm missing most of it!
That's all for today. I feel exhausted, and needing some regenerative sleep. It's like being in a sandblasting room. Hope I sleep well!