Day 43 – Sastrugi slayer

8th January 2020 0 By admin

Day 43
Lat S88deg 16.526’
Long W82deg 13.534’
Altitude 2667m
Daily distance 11.08nm

Not quite slayer I guess as they got the better of me quite frequently but that was largely down to the poor visibility. However, it seems that I’m through the worst for sure and now on the relatively flat surface that leads all the way to the pole. This past week has been pretty tough going but again that was mainly down to the whiteouts. Earlier today the sastrugi returned for one last battle and these were very gnarly, probably the worst yet. Thank goodness it was a clear sunny day as even with great visibility there were a few times I couldn’t see a way through. This went on for about 3 to 4 nautical miles before they eventually petered out and then came and went briefly, each time decreasing in size and frequency.
I will stay roughly at this altitude too. It’s not too high but at this latitude it has the feeling of being closer to 4500m. I am well acclimatised though but there’s still the odd occasion when it reminds you with a shortness of breath.
Well today was superb from start to end weather wise. Clear skies and barely a breath of wind so I started without a jacket or pogies but at minus 20 it was a bit optimistic and the jacket returned at the first break. By now I had cooled quite a bit and really struggled to keep my hands warm afterwards. It took a couple of stints with them nestled in my armpits to get some heat transfer and of course you can’t ski like this so I lost a bit of time due to that. They returned to normal eventually so a lesson learnt even after being out here for six weeks.
The sun is still shining and it makes such a difference inside the tent with everything getting dry and warm in no time. So much more comfortable.
The picture is a departure from bearded selfies and white stuff and not very flattering either! It was taken 29 years ago today when I joined the Royal Navy so happy navy anniversary to all the 911 entry Artificers. I know there’s a few out there and there’s even one still serving! Great days and such a shame it ended with a medical discharge after the diabetes diagnosis. Have good memories getting drunk in places I couldn’t spell at the tax payers expense but had it not ended I may not have been doing this now so you never know how life will twist and turn.

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