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

2006-11-29 page 22 of 67

Day 19: First Sponge Bath

We experienced a dehydration attack last night, so we drank our four liters of water which we had melted in preparation for the next day's travel. Then rising early, we melted four more liters to replenish our bottles. And while we were at it, we indulged in a sponge bath, our first of the trip because of the need to conserve fuel. The tent was warm and dry, thanks to the stove and the lesser wind, and the morning felt like a little bit of heaven.

But in Antarctica summer waits for no one, so we packed camp and set off soon after.



With such good weather, today's travel was a joy.

With such good weather, today's travel was a joy. Just to think: no commute, no job even, no bad news on the radio, no cares in the world. Nothing but skiing all day though wide open spaces.

The wind makes the sastrugi and turns it into ice, and because last winter's winds were so boisterous, we think, the terrain is positively covered with them. Of our 19 days here, we have seen only 2 days where the ground was smooth; say, smooth enough to land an airplane, for example. Not to complain, but just to compare this year's conditions with that of the previous years.



At first glance, the viewer might think the terrain is at least somewhat flat. But look at the shadows of Jenny's skis. The left tip is about eighteen inches above the snow, and her right heel is about eight inches above.


The shadows.


Again, the terrain looks somewhat flat. Until you look at the tracks. My skis are hitting only the high spots, and between them are deep ravines. Rough sastrugi makes for slow and difficult skiing.


Jenny has her camera lowered to give a better impression of the roughness of the sastrugi. Note her ski tracks between her skis and sled.


We like to ski on the berms whenever we find one. That's one, just ahead. "Berm" is my term in relation to the snow and sastrugi formation. They are a bit higher than the surrounding terrain and a great deal smother. They tend to peter out after a few hundred yards, and don't run very north and south; so following a berm pushes us somewhat off course. But they sure make life easier. And I think a pilot could land on one, if needed.


Writing one's latitude in the snow is a tradition with polar explorers, whenever crossing a degree of latitude. Or it could be that the tradition started with Jenny. Either way, we crossed 83 degrees South this afternoon, and that leaves us with seven more to go.

This afternoon we crossed 83 degrees South latitude. Each degree is about 69 miles apart.


Home sweet home.


Writing this update.

Evening camp: S 83° 05.202' W 83° 10.738'

Today's mileage: 13.7

Winds: 10 knots SSW; Weather: sunny

Altitude: 4,100 ft., Temperature: -11C

The story has 67 pages. This is page 22.
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