Day 42 – Passing the baton

7th January 2020 1 By admin

Day 42
Lat S88deg 05.520’
Long W82deg 35.022’
Altitude 2611m
Daily distance 10.68nm

After such a cold day it took a while to get warm so ended up in my sleeping bag fully clothed last night. Typically the sun came out through the night and turned the tent into a cosy one and I ended up roasting! The best thing was that my mask and buff dried completely as the past few days I’ve had to put them on damp and they soon freeze. They’ve frozen to my beard enough times that it’s made a mess of my chin now! It’s quite sore so won’t be shaving for a while.
So, a bright sunny start and the sastrugi were back in force but easy to negotiate until two hours later when the inevitable happened and it was whiteout all the way to the end with some snow on top too! The sastrugi came and went and were more tame each time but then developed into small ridges running across my path. As I couldn’t see, they stalled you ever dozen or so ski lengths and there was nothing to do but plough on. Percy had a rough day by going over several times and he also went into a trough next to some sastrugi I skied past with out even seeing!
Otherwise it was quite a pleasant day with no wind unlike the day before. It was a temperate minus 20 so breaks were back to normal and it took less time to rewarm each time too.
Now into 88 degrees though and 87 didn’t let me go without a last kick in the pants but 88 seems to have taken on the task now. It shouldn’t last long hopefully and from later on tomorrow it should flatten and then remain so until the pole.
Tonight’s camp is probably the worst spot I’ve picked all trip. As I couldn’t see any further than my nose it was pot luck and I’ve ended up on really soft snow with a slope wanting to roll me into the middle of the tent. It’s only one night and I’ve been generally lucky each camp so far. Anyway, dare I say it that it won’t be too long before I’m in a proper bed! After six weeks of this I’m ready for a bit of luxury!

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