Sorry for the lack of updates here on the blog – we have been slacking back here at base camp! I hope people have been having a chance to follow on Facebook and Twitter and tracking the team on the map.
Below are some updates from the team over the past week or two. Also some of the amazing images that Mike has been managing to send back!.
17th May :
We had a late start Saturday due to dense fog, and started at 12, but still managed a respectable 28km, Clare has done two legs with dogs and agrees it hard work and chaotic but is really enjoying it when they run well, might help if we had more experience.
We have to hit an average of 30km per day to make our rendezvous with our helicopter so a day lost is gonna cost us dear trying to make up the distance . But this is what happens on these trips and we can only go with the journey as it unfolds, but we’re all positive and psyched up to complete the journey, it is the second biggest ice cap in the world and Mother Nature will do her thing too!!!
Photo; one of the skiers, Boris from Holland with a windmill charger on his leg, only a Dutch man would.
18th May :
Gonna be tomorrow before we move, just way to bad, so it will be a race for sure to make our Heli flight out. Yesterday we did a communal dinner to celebrate Norwegian Independence Day and shared some special whiskeys brought along by Chris, and he showed us shots of his father Sledding in Antartica, so it was a nice evening all round, only difficulty was getting back to the tent. And no one could find the architecturally designed loos in the weather
20th May :
We decided to move and man was it cold with the wind, was blowing 30-50km at us all day, no idea what the temp was but I had my spare down jacket covering my backside and thighs it was that cold. We managed to cover 30km in that wind and whiteout most of the day, long days now, up at 6am cooking and hoping to have all water melted by 10.30pm. 7.86km today, white and wind has escalated in a storm with serious wind. We knew it was time to stop when you couldn’t see two sleds, 16 dogs and 4 humans that were only 25 metres behind us.It was some struggle to get the tents up, but only one broken pole and a super quick sewing job to another, and thankfully were all inside now but it blowing hard outside. So we have had 15 days on the move, 21 days food, and we’re not half way, some serious rationing on the way, although Sigrid has a stash of food somewhere about 130km from here and that should give us a few extra days. Some crappy weather hitting us from the Canadian side, we hope to move tomorrow, but the day after looks like we’re stopped again
22nd May :
Well what a day!!!! Up at 3am to get ahead of the weather and finally in the tent at 7.15pm. We’re at the highest point of our journey 2457m and we covered 38.5km today. It was one of those days you dream about, pristine white snow as far as the eye could see in all directions, a clear Aqua marine blue sky (that was the colour through my goggles) and just about -20 with a slight breeze, it may have been more the water bottles are frozen through. I fell in and out of love twice today, I never know do I want to hug the dogs or choke them, they are amazing animals, but this ain’t Disney where they run gallantly through the snow, the smell of their farts is obnoxious and they crap and pee all day so our ski’s smell like something from a cess pit and were hoarse from shouting at them to stop smelling every other dogs surprise left in the snow, word of caution never ever take the last sled, when there are 24 dogs ahead there’s lots of shouting and frustration as everything that is dropped on the snow must be sniffed as we try to move. To be fair they are really friendly, work hard and are amazing to watch.
24th May :
Well what a few days it has been, the weather has been all over the place and has forced us to travel at night, so Friday night we started stripping the tents at 10.30pm and didn’t get back into them till 11am sat morning, then made water and sleep, but we were all up again at 6pm for dinner more boiling water and on the move again by 11.45pm, it’s now 11.53am on Sunday and I finally have a cup in my hand, between the two nights we covered 78km and are expecting to be stuck in the tent till sometime late Monday. Last night was so cold -30c with a strong wind, felt worse than -50c, we were all so cold, I had nothing left to put on, so was happy when my turn to ski arrived. All in good form, and trying to figure out our flights ,work etc. we have another 190km to our finish point so without anymore bad weather it’s at least 5 days, so hopefully the 30th the big wash will begin. The dogs have been amazing and were all still trying to get better at mushing. One of the teams has been nicknamed the Flunkies, it’s unknown what direction they will go if they go at all, so it’s challenging to say the least. Everyone is in good form but seriously in need of some sleep. A big thank you to JJ Murphy for my insulated mug, I would be lost without it. Food fantasies are occupying everyone’s minds, amazing what isolation makes you appreciate