Friday, December 2, 2011

First white-out

The team experienced white-out conditions today and uphill travel that left everyone quite knackered. They made 19.2 kilometers. Their current position is S80.56.673, W81.10.615.

White-out conditions can be mentally exhausting, and particularly draining on the eyes and muscles used for balance. It's difficult on the eyes because there is nothing to look at, absolutely everything is white. The eyes are continually scanning for something to focus on, and there is nothing. It's hard on the balance muscles because they are constantly being used to prevent spills and wipe-outs along terrain that is basically invisible. Sometimes you don't know if you are going up or down, leaning to one side or standing upright, skiing over a bump or stepping into a hole. It's as if you are inside a pail of white paint, and at the end of the day you are ready for bed!

A little more information about their daily schedule:

The team arises at 7 AM and it takes them three hours to melt snow, cook breakfast, eat, pack up, break camp and be on their way. After 20 minutes of skiing they pause to de-layer. They ski for 1.5 hours then have a short break, then ski another 1.5 hours before a longer break. They repeat their skiing routine in the afternoon and stop skiing at 7 PM. They set up camp, melt snow for water, cook and relax and then hit the sack. That's a long day!

Check out Bryony's audio update and check back in tomorrow from another update from the team.

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