Title Page
  Preparations Arizona USA
  Preparations Punta Arenas, Chile
  Day 1: Antarctica!
  Day 2: First Taste of the Wind
  Day 3: Close Call
  Day 4: A Beautiful Day
  Day 5: The Wedge Design
  Day 6: Circle of Survivability
  Day 7: Mountains to our West
  Day 8: Skiing in a White out
  Day 9: Jenny Unleashed
  Day 10: Face Mask Freezing to the Nose
  Day 11: Howling Winds and Rough Terrain
  Day 12: Sledging away from the Maritime Influence
  Day 13: Rocking out
  Day 14: Frozen Face Mask
  Day 15: Coldest and Windiest Place on Earth
  Day 16: Skiing on Frozen Rubble
  Day 17: Tracks!
  Day 18: Slogging into Fierce Headwinds
  Day 19: First Sponge Bath
  Day 20: Playing in the Junkyard
  Day 21: Three Weeks, One-Third of the Distance
  Day 22: Playing in the Junkyard, Part 2
  Day 23: The otherworldly Glowing Blue Light
  Day 24: A Packman Game
  Day 25: The vision must be kept
  Day 26: Frozen Cameras
  Day 27: Low Margins of Safety in Strong Winds
  Day 28: Anomalies in the flat Antarctica myth
  Day 29: Thiels Mountains Visible in the Distance
  Day 30: The Half-Way Point
  Day 31: Mid-Journey Resupply
  Day 32: Sastrugi on top of Sastrugi
  Day 33: Skiing Alongside the Thiels
  Day 34: White Out and Mild-Mannered Sastrugi
  Day 35: Difficult Terrain
  Day 36: Cameras Frozen All Day
  Day 37: Alone in an Immense Wilderness
  Day 38: Warm weather and sleds are dragging hard
  Day 39: Climbing to the Polar Plateau
  Day 40: The Disappearing Hill
  Day 41: Extreme Fun
  Day 42: Seven Down, Three to Go
  Day 43: If your ski tips have no shadow, stop quick!
  Day 44: A Strange Object Flies Overhead
  Day 45: Perils of Crossing a Body-Heat Rubicon
  Day 46: Inspired to Greater Heights
  Day 47: Antarctica's Double Sun
  Day 48: Eight Degrees Down, Two To Go
  Day 49: Skiing in the Tropic of Antarctica
  Day 50: The Sun and its Antics
  Day 51: Short Antarctic Summers Wait for No One
  Day 52: Showers and laundry perhaps? No chance
  Day 53: Gaining the Polar Plateau
  Day 54: Good Weather, Fairly Flat Terrain
  Day 55: Climbing the Same Hill for Three Days
  Day 56: Cold but Very Pretty
  Day 57: Gorgeous Weather, Enjoyable Day
  Day 58: Almost There
  Day 59: The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
  The Flight to Patriot Hills
  Patriot Hills
  Mount Vinson
  Patriot Hills

Skiing to South Pole

Fierce Winds, Ultra-Cold Temperatures

Adventures in Antarctica

58 days, 700 mi, Nov 2006 - Jan 2007

Ray & Jenny Jardine

2006-11-18 page 11 of 67

Day 8: Skiing in a White out


Skiing in a white out. For eight hours we saw nothing of the terrain.

Mother Nature is playing tricks. Apparently she thinks its funny, and so do I.

End of storm, sky is clear, winds have dropped, ...slept good.

Wake up, open eyes, ...silence. Should be a great day!

Open door, ... nothing. NOTHING! Like sticking you head in a bowl of milk.

Skiing in a white out would be like scuba diving in milk. And the ski mask would emphasize the effect. You can see your skis perfectly, your partner and her pulk. But you cannot see the snow around you, or the horizon ahead, or the sky above.

For eight hours of skiing, we saw nothing of the terrain. Fortunately the ground felt fairly smooth, unlike the past two days of rough sastrugi. So the experience was actually rather fun. And the snow was not too cold, so the sleds pulled much easier.


Taking someone's picture in a white out is like standing in front of a white backdrop a professional photographer uses in the studio. There is no background.

For the past two days of fierce SW wind, I had asked Jenny to ski 45 degrees behind me and to my left - where she was in the lee of my prodigious form, for her protection from the wind. Today she skied in the same position because we found it helped us maintain course. When one of us veered, we both noticed it. The snow is hard, so we find no benefit, here, in following directly behind the leaders tracks.


In a white out, you can also see some of the ground around the person and pulks. But you cannot see anything of the ground around yourself. Out in front, you're skiing blind.


In the late afternoon, the white out is beginning to lift, and we are starting to see the horizon for the first time today. We still can't see the ground around us.


The white out has lifted and we are making camp.


I made the ski pole baskets removable. So at camp I remove the baskets and jam the poles into the snow, to anchor the tent on its windward end. Then I use a pair of skis to anchor the tent midships.

Today we crossed 81° S, so tonight we are celebrating our first milestone with cake and pudding. Only eight degrees of latitude to go.

Note: We are carrying food and fuel for 30 days to our mid-point resupply.

Evening camp: S 81° 06.665' W 81° 43.793'

Today's mileage: 10.5

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