Monday, December 12, 2011

Heavy sleds again...

Today the team reports a difficult day, with heavy sleds and low light.. They traveled 23 kilometers in 11 hours, and now "it is time for sleeping bags!" Dennis comments about finding the resupply yesterday, and compares it to the earlier expeditions of Amundsen and Scott. It's only two days until the first of the centennial celebrations at the South Pole! But for our team still 30+ days from reaching that point it is back to the grindstone of putting one foot in front of the next. But as always, that is one step closer to the Pole!

One of the benefits of traveling in Antarctica is that you are on a continent. Unlike travel to the North Pole, which is on sea ice, you get to "keep" every inch of southward progress. At the North Pole you might make 15 or 20 kilometers in a day but you might drift backwards while you sleep! That's not to say that Antarctica is free of challenges... the altitude, the cold and the wind combine to pack a serious punch!

Of course on every expedition some days are bad, some are good and some are great. 100 years ago today Amundsen had a great day. He wrote in his diary:

Magnificent weather. Almost still and partly clear. About –25°C. Same fine terrain and surface. According to the hypsometer it looks as though we are going very slightly downwards. Maybe it is just the weather conditions that make it seem so. Midday observations, which were taken under the most favourable weather conditions, still, clear, distinct sun and horizon, 89°6’. Observations and instruments again completely coincide. We have done our usual 17 n.m. and now lie at 89°15’ – three days march from our goal.
Make sure to listen to today's audio report from Lisa and check back again tomorrow for another update from the team!

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