Day 44 – Begining of the end

9th January 2020 0 By admin

Day 44
Lat S88deg 29.924’
Long W81deg 41.358’
Altitude 2724m
Daily distance 13.50nm
Distance to SP 90.54nm

Now that I’m half way through the penultimate degree I can’t help but feel I’m on the last leg now. It’s still a long way to go but I have also passed through the 100 nautical miles to the pole milestone plus the altitude won’t be getting much higher than this.
As hoped my mileage has increased thanks to the lack of gradient coupled with seeing the end of the bad sastrugi. Early parts of today still saw the sastrugi come and go and it is virtually non existent now however the terrain does still rough up every now and then. The advantage of this is that you can pick a feature in the far distance if it reflects the sun differently in order to head towards as opposed to constantly checking the compass. I had to do this for the last hour though after thick cloud rolled in and totally changed the day.
Up until this point it was another cracking sunny day with no wind. Still very cold at minus 25 but pleasant despite this. Having learnt my lesson yesterday I started today with my jacket and pogies and although hands still get cold when changing from working gloves to mitts I didn’t suffer like yesterday.
Late last night I thought I heard engine noise coming from the east. It wasn’t an aircraft as I’ve heard a few go over since being here. My tent door faces the other side so I had to get up to have a look but in doing so I got cramp in my right leg and by the time it subsided the noise was gone. Maybe I was hearing things as I’ve been in solitary for quite a while now and about time I had a moment so it was back to sleep. Mid afternoon today as I was crossing towards the east I came across snowcat tracks so I wasn’t hearing things after all. That’s the first thing I’ve seen for quite a while other than my own tracks so it was another reminder that I’m closing in on the pole.
Such a shame the cloud rolled in as I was looking forward to another cosy tent tonight. Instead I’m writing this fully clothed and inside my sleeping bag.
Also got the prospect of damp gear still in the morning, though with 90 nautical miles to go it won’t be long before that won’t be a concern.

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