Day 34 – Frozen Ocean

31st December 2019 0 By admin

Day 34
Lat S86deg 43.560’
Long W82deg 09.650’
Altitude 1917m
Daily distance 12.13nm

Really enjoyed today.
Mileage hasn’t really changed but the surface has and that’s why I enjoyed it.
Sun was out all day and by the time I stopped there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. This was very deceiving as the 10-15 knot headwind was bitterly cold. It died out when it came to pitch the tent so this wasn’t the normal freezing hand situation I’ve been having of late. It did make one of my earlier breaks awkward though as the moisture from my cold avenger had frozen to my buff which then froze to my beard. It took a while to warm it sufficiently to free it but the ice has had its desired effect and given me a sore chin. Will see how that materialises in the coming days. I also had trouble with my goggles fogging up and freezing today. I’ve got two pairs so I ended up alternating between the two and putting the fogged ones inside my jacket to melt the ice and then I could wipe it away and swap over and so on.
The start of the day had the duning and sastrugi gradually growing before disappearing again. Same happened yesterday so it appears I’ve gotten away with it again. At least until tomorrow as the duning is back again now and with the constantly undulating surface it gives the impression of being a frozen ocean. The dunes run across the way so it’s up and over each time. Slow going but the surface has improved thank goodness. The soft snow seems to be disappearing. Not sure if it’s because it didn’t snow here or if the wind has stripped it but whichever, it’s a whole lot better despite the duning. I even found a decent hard surface for a pitch tonight. First time since Thiel that I haven’t had to pitch in soft snow.
I’m heading west still as there’s a huge crevasse field coming up. By going west to my next waypoint in 47 nautical miles I’ll steer clear but must still be vigilant. The crevassing continues from around now all the way to just beyond 88 degrees south so in excess of 60 nautical miles.
Another milestone today too. I’m now two thirds of the way with just under 200 nautical miles to go. At least two weeks depending on how the monster sastrugi go when they eventually come.
Tanel, my Estonian road trip buddy arrived at the pole today. That’s great to hear as he’s a busy boy going off to climb Mount Vinson next. Even with doing a shorter route that’s a great average he must’ve been doing so hope he’s got something left in the tank to climb with! He may well be back at Union Glacier by the time I get there too so will be great to catch up.

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