Day 5

1st December 2019 1 By admin

Lat S80deg 35.609’
Long W80deg 15.046’
Altitude 788m
Daily distance 6.04nm

Late last night I found my eye mask! Thought I’d forgotten it but it was hidden away at the bottom of a stuffsack. Combined with the ear plugs I still had from the noisy flight into Union Glacier, they gave me the best sleep since I’ve been in Antarctica. All despite the wind howling and flapping my tent all night.
It was obvious I wasn’t going anywhere quickly with strong gusts still hitting the tent and it didn’t relent as forecast. I ventured out to pack my pulk at 11am but soon realised it was a no go. As I was already dressed I lay down in the tent with my down jacket on and boots sticking into the porch waiting and listening for it to die down. By 2pm I was fed up so braved the wind and minus 35 wind chill, took down my tent and set off. The snow had accumulated around the tent and had to dig out all of the snow stakes holding the guy lines. It wasn’t as bad as I’d expected so then spent the rest of the afternoon cursing myself for not going at 11. I continued for five hours and half way through the wind died down to a more reasonable 10 knots and the terrain seemed to change. It has definitely flattened out and according to the GPS I dropped a tiny bit of altitude. It should carry on like this for a few days and together with turning south early tomorrow and predicted low winds, i’m in for a treat! Will be nice to get some rhythm going again and make good progress.
Yesterday I thought I saw what looked like a tornado but can only have been snow being whipped up. I saw a few today too and was wondering if there’s such a thing as a snownado? No google out here so one for when I return.
The mountains are now over my right shoulder and behind me so it won’t be long until there’s nothing but white all around. It’s simple but stunning and gives an appreciation of how big and desolate this place is.
On a different note, my boot buckle froze solid today so took an age to get it off. Otherwise my boots have been brilliant. Not wanting to tempt fate but my feet feel like they’re still on holiday. Not once have they felt cold and so far no blisters!!

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