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

2006-12-02 page 25 of 67

Day 22: Playing in the Junkyard, Part 2

Those who are following our saga: "blindfolded in the junkyard" may be glad to know we have another practice session for you. And for those who graduated from the last practice session, we are taking things to the next level by asking you to wear skis this time (no more slacking) and also dragging a sled. If you don't have a sled, a large tire will do.

A sled or tire will increase the cardio workout, of course, but its main function is to stop you every chance it gets when it hangs up on every shelf, every hole, and every sastrugi blocking the way. Remember: you are blindfolded and cannot see any of these things. See photo. And unlike previous junkyard sessions, this one will last all day.






"Playing in the junkyard" on our way to the South Pole. In a white out, you can see your partner and your sleds. And 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 the ambient light. Hard to imagine, but the terrain around your feet, and ahead, is invisible. So you don't know what you will run into, or off of, next.

We made very slow progress, only 10.9 miles in 9.25 hours. I led all day, until 3:30 p.m., because we're finding that I have a good sense of direction in white out conditions.

Jenny: On the other hand I become horribly disoriented, and I can't even follow my own ski tips.

In retrospect, I should have equipped Jenny with a small gimbaling compass mounted on a support in front of her, where she could keep an eye on it. This is actually common practice with many polar adventurers. We each wear a compass mounted on our jacket sleeve, and I don't need to refer to mine all that often.

With Jenny following resolutely behind, I skied slowly by feel alone, using the ski poles to help judge the terrain. This is not so bad as it sounds. Actually I had a wonderful morning, experiencing the sensory deprivation, which allows all sorts of good thoughts to come streaming in.


Looks pretty clear ahead ... BAM!

But by afternoon I was beginning to tire, because of the constant job of maintaining balance. About 3:30 p.m. the horizon became visible, and Jenny took the lead from there.


The white out is dissipating, so Jenny takes the lead after a very tiring day.

Just before quitting time, the white out began to dissipate, and we could see that we were in a very difficult area of sastrugi. It looked like no-man's land. But we found a nice campsite, and as usual it felt good to get inside the tent, get comfortable, and warm up with steaming cuppas.


Evening camp: S 83° 35.788' W 83° 38.163'

Today's mileage: 10.9 in 9.25 hrs

The story has 67 pages. This is page 25.
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