Day 45 – More miles

12th January 2020 0 By admin

Day 45
Lat S88deg 43.702’
Long W80deg 47.108’
Altitude 2720m
Daily distance 13.91nm
Distance to SP 76.69nm

Another really good day but bitterly cold.
Made better mileage again which is pleasing but that’s down to a few factors.
The terrain is now very flat without anything to hinder progress so no need to pick your route through the sastrugi. The down side of this is that there are a lack of features to navigate to and what is there isn’t necessarily on your bearing. Still easy enough to navigate it’s just that this way was much easier.
I have changed my routine to give me more skiing time for the same hours. I’m now doing five 2 hour blocks which means less break time and more skiing. I have added an extra half an hour today and yesterday too so that’s ten and a half hours skiing with an hour of breaks. Not a lot of break time but when it’s cold like today you really don’t want to stop! Got to have breaks and take on fuel and fluid and can’t miss my second top up dose of curraNZ to help me through the second part of the day so trying to be really quick on these.
Having started with 65kg of food this is now down to around 8kg. It’s hard to believe I was pulling all that weight and now it’s very noticeably lighter. However, the surface up here on the plateau is very grainy so there’s no free glide which means you have to drag the pulk every step instead of it gliding effortlessly behind you. As I was told, it doesn’t get easier out here, it just gets different!
I should be clocking up more miles considering all this but after all this time my body has consumed a lot of my fat reserves and a good amount of muscle too which means I’m not as strong as when I started. As a consequence it’s slow and steady but still an improvement.
As I said it was bitterly cold today with the stiff wind giving a temperature of minus 40. This was offset by the sun being out all day but with some mid level of cloud to keep it in check. Made for good comfortable skiing without getting too hot or cold unless having a break and it provided a sun dog for most of the morning too. Now in the tent it hasn’t heated the place as normal but there is a noticeably more comfortable temperature in here than yesterday when the sun disappeared. As long as it’s enough to dry my face mask and buff I’ll be happy in the morning.

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