Day 39 – Rays of hope

5th January 2020 0 By admin

Day 39
Lat S87deg 36.335’
Long W82deg 48.549’
Altitude 2461m
Daily distance 9nm

Another cold night in the tent and with the wind increasing overnight it took a lot of effort to get up. However, once outside it wasn’t quite as cold as the day before and as the wind/cold combination can cut you in two it was a relief when the wind died away to nothing. It made for a warm day when on the move and as a consequence the pogies were removed, along with my hat and pit-zips were fully opened as well as my jacket being half unzipped.
Unfortunately it was all done in another whiteout! Very limited visibility at the start deteriorated into no visibility again and this time the sastrugi had more to offer. I must’ve gone over three times before ten minutes were up and then Percy had his turn before I took over again. I lost my rag more than once and swearing at the top of your voice does help a little but it made for a very frustrating day again.
I did pass the last waypoint before heading for the pole and I also went through the three quarter mark. On top of this I’m another 100m higher at 2461 metres and should have most of the rest of the height gain done in the next 23 nautical miles when I get to 88 degrees.
Although the massive crevasse field to the east is still there, I can very slowly inch my way back that way which allows me to go with the flow of sastrugi at times but on the whole I am going straight across them.
The day finished on a positive though as about an hour and a half before the end, the sun bored a small hole through the clouds and gave enough light to improve visibility significantly. Still poor contrast but now instead of having to bulldoze your way through in a straight line taking 2-3 minutes getting over some obstacles, you could figure out a route taking 30 seconds instead. Still difficult terrain but a lot less frustrating. In a perverse way I actually enjoyed this last part of the day but mainly because it didn’t involve falling over!

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