Day 31 – Island Hopping

27th December 2019 0 By admin

Day 31
Lat S86deg 07.645’
Long W81deg 13.973’
Altitude 1711m
Daily distance 12.00nm

The day started with the feeling of it being evening rather than morning. As the sun rotates at pretty much the same angle in the sky there is very little difference between day and night although it does dip slightly at night. This morning though took on the feeling that I was coming down off a Scottish hill on a cold gloomy evening in winter. It then clouded over totally giving very poor contrast again but nothing like the whiteout of a few days ago. Again very little in the way of sastrugi but for most of the morning there were small islands of snow free surface just like the old days of 83 degrees south! When going over these it was such a joy compared to the drag of the rest of the surface. It’s not a lot of snow but I can only compare it to driving with your handbrake on then releasing it for 15 seconds then back on again. I then started to search out these islands of joy in the low light and tried to join them up as best I could. It didn’t really give me much extra but it was a nice reminder of what could be.
Around lunchtime the clouds darkened and there was a real sense of foreboding with dark patches on the horizon. It all materialised into nothing and by the end of the day the sun was out again. This made the tent pitching far warmer than the previous two days but until this point it was bitterly cold today. Mask and jacket lapels had started freezing over again and breaks are taken very quickly and without fuss.
Although the mileage continues to frustrate that’s another 12 nautical miles closer and I have now crossed over into the 86th degree. Reasonably significant height gain too so plenty to be positive about.
Forecast is for the same over the next couple of days but with more light snow but it could be a lot, lot worse!
It’s hard work but still feeling good.

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