Today's weather: sastrugi. Other than that, we didn't notice.
Today's menu: sastrugi for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacks at rest stops: sastrugi.
What are sastrugi? Anomalies in the flat Antarctica myth.
Day 28: Anomalies in the flat Antarctica myth
With only light winds (5 to 15), we expected a day of white out. This was according to the patterns we have observed. And actually a white out came flying through, mid-morning. It was traveling fast, but just as it was about to engulf us, it swerved and missed us by a good mile.
The wind was full of fine spindrift, and the upper atmosphere was full of ice crystals, and we enjoyed the sight of a pretty sun dog, (when not looking at the sastrugi) which at times showed the colors of a platinum rainbow. That is to say that it looked strangely metallic.
We wended our way through the anomalies as best we could; at times there didn't appear to be a best route, so we had to simply forge through. This happened about 40 percent of our day.
Other than that we both listened to music all day. Over to the right umpteen miles sits a lovely, small cluster of mountains commanding the eye.
We enjoyed the day very much, and especially appreciated our light sleds as we are getting close to our resupply 40 miles hence. Also the day was warm enough so that the sled runners slid over the ice more easily.
A small cluster of mountains commanding the eye.
A pile of snow blocks, positioned just outside the cooking area. Jenny adds these to our cookpot to melt, to make our evenings supply of water for cooking and hot brews. Then later she melts more blocks to fill our drinking bottles.
My face mask at the end of the day, turned inside-out to show the ice that forms from my breath. Every day this ice cup forms around my chin, and sits very close to my chin, like a loose sock fits a foot. At the end of the day, this ice is sometimes so thick that it takes me several minutes in the warm tent to melt it enough that I can remove the face mask. Once off, I melt all the ice by putting the mask on top of the lidded snow-block melting pot. This face mask covered in ice is not very comfortable to wear for nine hours straight, at least the parts around the mouth and chin. But it does offer excellent protection from the wind, as long as I can keep the ice away from my skin.
A patch of frostbite on my lip.
Evening camp: 84° 40.212' W 85° 22.859'
Today's mileage: 13.4 in 9 hrs
Altitude: 5,125 ft., Temperature: -18 C