Contents
  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
  Aconcagua

Skiing to South Pole

Fierce Winds, Ultra-Cold Temperatures

Adventures in Antarctica

58 days, 700 mi, Nov 2006 - Jan 2007

Ray & Jenny Jardine

2006-11-30 page 23 of 67

Day 20: Playing in the Junkyard

photo

This morning's games featured a white out in rugged terrain. The rules were simple: Don't break your neck falling off a sastrugi. For those who lack white out to play in, simply wear a blindfold and pretend you see white instead of black. For those who lack sastrugi, simply go to the junkyard and play there. Any kind of junk will do, as long as it is big enough. The object of this game is to simply get though it.

(I just split my lip laughing so hard. We keep our lips covered all day, but the cold, dry air wreaks serious havoc with the skin.)

The odd thing about a white out is in certain conditions you can see the snow up to 12 to 18 inches away from your sled. This is because the light reflected from the sled is different from ambient light. So when you turn around, you can sometimes see what you ran over or fell off of. My most memorable occasion was when I skied directly into what looked like the head of a giant duck. If I had been either left or right 18 inches I would have missed it entirely. It was a direct hit. I climbed onto the head and skied down the bill and landed with a thud. I turned around to watch my sled glissade off of it. And I could see that indeed I had just run over a duck.

(Jenny: I thought it was interesting that when following Ray directly behind his sled I could see more surface detail. But when leading, looking ahead into the whiteness, I could see nothing.)

photo

The white out is slowly dissipating.

Midday the white out broke up, the sun came out, and we enjoyed a splendid afternoon in just ten knots of wind.

photo

This is what the terrain looks like without the white out. Rugged and covered with sastrugi.

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In a white out we can't see the "streets," so have to ski directly over the sastrugi. This gully to the left of the "street" is about two feet deep.

photo

The wind was light and we had become severely dehydrated. We had already drank our four liters of water earlier in the day. So we stopped to melt more. And for expediency we didn't want to pitch the tent; so we toughed it out.

photo

This was our coldest rest stop of the entire trip, waiting for the snow blocks to melt. It sure felt good when we got moving again, but it took us almost an hour to warm back up. We had become deeply chilled, almost to the core. Again, I don't think a person can become hypothermic down here. Anyway, we never felt any effects of hypothermia. Its too cold for that. Instead, the cells of the body just freeze. I think hypothermia and cell freezing are two different things.

photo

The evening camp.

Evening camp: S 83° 14.931' W 83° 17.038'

Today's mileage: 11.2 in 9 hrs.

The story has 67 pages. This is page 23.
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