Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"We are in Sastrug hell..."

"We are in sastrugi hell!" That's how our conversation started with Lisa today. It's a direct quote and one that is quite descriptive! The team started off with strong winds that seemed to pull the sleds backwards. Periodic uphill travel and satrugi added to the challenge. But that was in the morning, before the REAL sastrugi began. Not all the sastrugi was huge, some was medium sized, but it required constant maneuvering around or between each wind-sculpted formation. If a person opted to go over the sastrugi there was the sudden and heavy tug of the sled and often a sharp edge of the sastrugi would catch the sled and cause additional problems. All in all they covered 23.6 kilometers but it took them 11 hours. They are camped at S 88.08.135, W 83.01.756.

Ahead they can see more sastrugi for at least a few kilometers, but they are hoping these little devils soon end. Today the temperature was one of the coldest of the expedition, -30C with a wind that was a steady 13 knots. That makes the wind chill around -48 F or -44 C. Brrr!

We've requested photos of  "Sastrugi hell" but in the meantime all we have to share is this lovely photo of Lisa's foot! It's easy to forget that in addition to heavy sleds, seriously sub-zero temperatures, and fierce winds each team member also has to deal with personal "maintenance". Pesty problems like persistent blisters take time and energy to care for. But care for them you must, because they can become big problems if you let them go.

Make sure to listen to the audio report from Bob and check back again tomorrow for another update from the team!

No comments:

Post a Comment