Day 36 – Happy New Year!

1st January 2020 0 By admin

Day 36
Lat S87deg 07.281’
Long W82deg 21.072’
Altitude 2146m
Daily distance 11.73nm

Another good day but so, so cold! It sounds silly saying that due to the fact that I’m in the middle of Antarctica but since I’ve been gaining altitude it’s really got colder very quickly. It normally takes around 15 minutes to feel warm again after each break but now it’s pretty much double that.
For the first time my toes felt cold too but I’m going to change my boot liners to help with that. By accident (or rather laziness) I kept the liners that came with the boots in place. After wearing them throughout my time at Union Glacier I just kept them in and took my Intuition Mukluk liners as spares. The mukluks are fine and I’ve worn the boots with them in without any problems but I’ve never skied in them. As the originals haven’t given me any issues I just kept them in. The only problem is that they expand with moisture and take ages to dry out. I remove them regularly to hang and dry at night but they’re never completely dry. I have gotten away with it so far but with the temperature plunging it caught me out today. The mukluks dry very quickly hence the replacement but I’m now worried I’ll get blisters even though they’ve been tested plenty and fitted properly. My feet haven’t really been fazed by the trip so far so would be a shame to mess it up now. Better than freezing feet though!
The sastrugi grew in size and number this morning so I was grateful for clear skies and sunshine to negotiate them. As you can see by the picture it’s not something you want to run into unexpectedly! Later in the day they thinned out a little and the surface became quite sugary. This actually helped as it seems to help the ski grip on any incline.
Being so close the the pole I guess I can almost choose my time zone for New Year. Will stick to Chile time but had another whisky miniature to celebrate the same time as home (I won’t be up at midnight my time anyway)
If what I’m told is correct, the south pole research station is on NZ time and within walking distance you have ALE’s setup which is on Chile time so there are over 12 hours between them to celebrate new year despite being so close!
Passed into the 87th degree today so another one ticked off. Added 100 metres vertically too and mileage wasn’t dented too much by the sastrugi so still pretty happy with progress.

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