Day 21: Three Weeks, One-Third of the Distance
This morning's wind report: South (directly on the nose) blowing 30 knots.
One thing that makes expeditions in Antarctica so cold is there is no natural shelter from the wind. No cars to get into and turn on the heater, no homes and warm offices. When you emerge from your tent and pack it away for the day, you are on your own, as far as the cold winds are concerned.
Fortunately our clothes are working well. We made all our clothes except the mittens and socks. Actually we made mittens and socks too, but they are in our half way point resupply.
Skiing in a ground blizzard.
The afternoon winds reduced to 20, and we spent a pleasant afternoon climbing the next hill. This hill was gradually sloped, only 300 feet in 7 miles, but for some reason it felt like Annapurna. When we reached its crest we had stunning views back the way we had come.
The wind has lessened somewhat and we are enjoying a standing lunch of cold granola.
We talked with Peter McDowell back at Patriot Hills Base Camp. Peter is part owner of the company and also one of the nicest guys imaginable, and also very knowledgeable. (Everybody we met that works for this company is very nice and helpful.)
Anyway, Peter said that he and the staff back at Base Camp are impressed with our progress. That was encouraging to hear and much appreciated.
Jenny's thigh and blisters of frostbite. I have these too, but not quite as numerous. We got these early in the trip, and the blisters are very slow to heal - probably because we keep re-freezing them during the high-wind days.
For the record, we have been going for three weeks now, and we have come one-third of the distance to the Pole.
Evening camp: S 83° 26.336' W 83° 33.085'
Today's mileage: 13.4 in 9.5 hrs